Travelling Savant taking on SA stayers

Twelve months ago, Cheval Savant was a Group 1 Australian Derby contender but while he wasn’t up to that level of three-year-old, Ciaron Maher and the gelding’s ownership have found a niche with him in picking off VOBIS and other incentives along the way with their consistent stayer.

Cheval Savant, a son of Cox Plate winning sire Savabeel, began his racing career in Victoria and has also raced in New South Wales, the ACT, and now he aims to add South Australia to his successful itinerary.

After the abandonment of the Edenhope Cup (2000m) on Sunday, Cheval Savant won at Benalla two starts back in a benchmark 64 over 2100-metres in late January, and now heads to Morphettville Parks for the Fleurieu Milk Company Benchmark 68 Handicap (2250m).

Maher’s assistant, Jack Turnbull, says that now four-year-old is an easy traveller having settled well into their Sydney bases together with at Cranbourne and Ballarat.

“We’ve had a look at the race on ratings, he’s come up favourite and so he should be,” Turnbull said of the $2.80 chance across leading betting apps.

“He looks terrific and seems happy.

“Thankfully he’s versatile to take to Cranbourne and Ballarat and the trips don’t bother him.

“If he wasn’t that type of horse then we’d have to keep him to one location.

“He’s a strong, strapping lad.”

Jacob Opperman takes the ride and combines with the Maher stable for the first time since October 2021.

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