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Mr Quickie spot on for G1 SA Derby assault

Mr Quickie.
Mr Quickie has stayed on target for the South Australian Derby after winning the VOBIS Gold Heath.

The way Mr Quickie relaxed in his VOBIS Gold Heath victory at Caulfield gives trainer Phillip Stokes plenty of confidence ahead of the South Australian Derby.

Stokes has yet to win his hometown Derby and since taking over the training of Mr Quickie his sole focus has been on the Group One race at Morphettville on May 11.

Mr Quickie was trained by the now disqualified Darren Weir and had his first start for now Pakenham-based Stokes when successful at Flemington on March 2.

He graduated to victory at Mornington later that month before Grinzinger Star lowered his colours over 1600m at Caulfield on April 6.

Stokes didn’t lose faith in the three-year-old and neither did punters on Saturday who sent him off the $1.65 favourite under Ben Allen in recording a 1-1/2 length win over Admiral’s Joker ($61) with Remember The Name ($16) a half-head away third.

“He relaxed beautifully today and that’s what we wanted to see and he gives every indication he’ll run the Derby distance,” Stokes said.

“It’s two weeks to the Group One now and the whole campaign has gone to plan.

“I wasn’t worried about him getting beaten last time as I thought he was vulnerable and here we are here today.”

Stokes has a team of horses heading to Adelaide next week to his Morphettville stable and will consider sending Mr Quickie over with them.

“It will give me the chance to give him a look at the course proper but I’ll see how he pulls up from this,” Stokes said.

The suspended John Allen, who has won the Derby on Weir-trained three-year-olds Howard Be Thy Name (2016) and Volatile Mix (2017) will replace Ben Allen in the Derby.

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