CLASSY youngster Artillery is set to lead the local defence against interstate raiders in Saturday night’s South Australia Derby at Globe Derby.
With border hoppers having a stranglehold on the Blue Riband for the past two decades, Artillery shapes as the ‘most likely’ to keep the title within the home state.
Successful in 2011, Glengowan is the only local winner of the Derby this century!
In what trainer Paul Cavallaro hopes is an omen, Artillery will be driven by Mark Billinger who partnered Glengowan during his classic victory.
“Us locals haven’t had much luck in the Derby for some time now,” Cavallaro said. “That bad luck includes the 2019 Derby when Dani Hill and I were involved in the fall.
“I drove Artillery’s brother Culture King that night, so hopefully this bloke can have better luck than what we did a couple of years ago.
“It’s not going to be easy, but he’s capable of winning with the right run.
“Mark was able to hold back the raiders the last time a South Australian won it, so we’ll be hoping he can do it again.”
Second when first-up from a four-month spell a fortnight ago, Artillery has drawn to settle forward from barrier three.
Winner of last season’s Southern Cross Final, the son of Art Major boasts an impressive record of six wins and five placings from 11 starts.
“I gave him as long as possible off after the Southern Cross and he did quite well during his time out,” Cavallaro said.
“I was happy enough with his first run back and it has tightened him up nicely.
“His work has improved since then and he’ll be ready to run a good race on Saturday night.”