Loco Aims to Impress in Derby Lead-Up Races

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr are pinning their faith in Loco to provide them with a second straight South Australian Derby success.

But first Loco has to continue to impress the training duo with his climb up the ranks and the son of So You Think will have his third race start in the Noel Rundle Handicap (1600m) at Sandown on Saturday.

Price and Kent Jnr won the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville last year with Jungle Magnate and Price is planning a similar campaign 12 months later.

Jungle Magnate, who now races in Hong Kong as Beautyverse, won first-up in the Mornington Guineas before finishing midfield in a Three-Year-Old Handicap at Caulfield on Easter Saturday.

He then headed to Morphettville to claim the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) before the Derby.

Jungle Magnate did have a preparation as a spring three-year-old and ran in the Group 1 Victoria Derby, but Price and Kent allowed Loco more time before commencing his racing career.

Loco was successful on debut at Pakenham before being undone by an inside draw when second at Sandown over 1600m on March 29.

“I had a picture of a mile for a stayer, drawn middle to outside, and finish off strong,” Price said.

“But barrier one causes you to hold your ground a bit, keep the advantage barrier one can give you.

“I thought he was good, but the winner was hard fit, and he zoomed past.”

Price expects Loco to run well on Saturday and then head to the Chairman’s Stakes on April 29 and onto the Derby two weeks later.

“He’s a big, strong So You Think gelding and is a nice horse, but he’s been immature,” Price said.

“He’s a good winded horse but he was underdone when he ran second, but his recovery was excellent, so he’s got a good set of lungs on him.

“I think a big, relaxed gelding, 2000 metres will be good with a turn of foot and 2500 will also be good.”

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