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Secret Blaze sets up SA Derby aspirations

Three-year-old Secret Blaze has outclassed stayers of the same age to win the Listed Galiee Series Final at Caulfield with the Tony McEvoy stable now eyeing a bigger prize.

McEvoy’s Melbourne-based foreman Michael Shepherdson said the South Australian-based trainer has his eyes set on a hometown win in the Group One South Australian Derby at Morphettville on May 11.

Ridden by Luke Currie, Secret Blaze was sent off the $2,45 favourite before racing to a two length win from Transact ($6.50) with American In Paris ($10) 2-1/2 lengths away third.

Shepherdson said he’s unsure if the VRC St Leger at Flemington on April 25 will form part of Secret Blaze’s progress towards the South Australian Derby.

“Tony’s earmarked the Derby for him and would love to get him there,” Shepherdson said.

“I’m not sure if he’ll have time to have another race but he’s an emerging stayer and Tony will make up his mind after he sees how he pulls up.

“He’s still learning and he could still relax a little bit more, but racing over a trip will help bring that on.

“It’s good to have a really nice young stayer in the stable.”

Shepherdson praised Currie for the way he was able to manoeuvre Secret Blaze through the field after early leader Think Music dropped out before the turn.

Currie said he hit the lead too early.

“I had to edge through on the inside to make sure those on the outside didn’t roll back down to the fence,” Currie said.

“He pricked his ears when he got to the front and won with a bit in hand.”

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