“YOU don’t know if you can swim until you go in the deep water!”
An interesting way for astute horseman Dale Afford to assess his Derby prospects given the name of his entrant.
Afford is poised to contest Saturday night’s South Australia Derby at Globe Derby with Hesashark.
Racing in sensational form three-year-old heads into the Blue Riband with wins at his last four starts.
While locals have proven to be little more than chum in the water for interstate raiders during the past 25 years, Hesashark shapes as the ‘most likely’ to keep the title within the home state.
Successful in 2011, Glengowan is the only local Derby winner this century!
“It’s a very tough race and the strongest field he has faced,” Afford said. “He’s in great shape and racing at his best, so has earned a shot at this.
“But you don’t know if you can swim until you go in the deep water, so I guess we’ll find out where he is at on the weekend.”
To be driven by Afford, the son of Shadyshark Hanover has drawn barrier five but slots into four with the removal of the emergency.
With quick beginners on his inside, Afford is unsure where Hesashark will settle in the run, but hopes to gain a forward position early.
“There is a bit of speed there, but we will come out and have a look,” Afford said. “Where he settles in the run I couldn’t say, we’ll just hope for the best.”
Although drawn the outside of the front row, Mach Dan is the one to beat according to Afford.
Prepared by leading horsewoman Emma Stewart, Mach Dan had no luck in the Victoria Derby a fortnight ago, finishing sixth to miss the placings for the first time.
“Mach Dan is the one to beat, then it is pretty even among the rest of them,” Afford said. “It will come down to getting the right run.”