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 The Malaysia Airlines SA Derby History
by Gary Crispe and Steve McGhee  

Year
 
Previous Winners
 
2002
 
PANTANI (NZ)
 
2001
 
BIG PAT (AUS)
 
2000
 
BLUE MURDER (AUS)
 
1999
 
SHOWELLA (NZ)
 
1998
 
BULTA (AUS)
 
1997
 
MARKHAM (AUS)
 
1996
 
CHEVIOT (AUS)
 
1995
 
COUNT CHIVAS (NZ)
 
1994
 
BULLWINKLE (AUS)
 
1993
 
OUR POMPEII (NZ)
 
1992
 
SUBZERO (AUS)
 
1991
 
SHIVA'S REVENGE (NZ)
 
1990
 
DIEGO (NZ)
 
1989
 
SEA BRIGAND (AUS)
 
1988
 
CELTIC SPIRIT (NZ)
 
1987
 
SHARK'S FIN (NZ)
 
1986
 
FRENCH COTTON (AUS)
 
1985
 
SIR ZEPHYR (NZ)
 
1984
 
MAPPERLEY HEIGHTS (NZ)
 
1983
 
Not Run
 
1982
 
ENGLISH WONDER (AUS)
 
1981
 
BREWERY BOY (AUS)
 
1980
 
TASMAN (NZ)
 

The Malaysia Airlines South Australian Derby is one of the older races of Australian black type turf history and was first contested in 1860.

The then 2400m event, was won by the mare Midnight, fittingly by the stallion South Australian (GB).

Sons of South Australian (GB) would win the race with Tim Whiffler (1865) and Regalia (1867), the former turning out to be a super colt and wonderful sire.

The SA Derby was not held from 1869 up to and including 1875 and there would be three further periods when the race was not held.

1885-89, 1942-43 and 1983 were the other times.

1880 saw The Assyrian, a son of Countryman (GB) win the SA Derby and two years later he would take out the Melbourne Cup.

1903 saw the simply named F.J.A. prevail and the son of Wallace would also win a VRC Derby, Toorak Handicap and an All-Aged Stakes, amongst other wins.

The SA Derby was run over 2400m until 1973 when Sir Gerald scored over 2500m and then there were fluctuations back and forward in distance including a 2600m running in 1980, won by the Sir Tristram (IRE) stallion Tasman (NZ).

One year earlier the race was officially given G1 status and Top Ware took out the 2400m event.

The Tommy Smith trained Brewery Boy, a son of Lorenzaccio (IRE), won in 1981 and took out the G1 VRC Derby as well.

Mapperley Heights (NZ), a daughter of Sir Tristram (IRE), won the SA Derby in 1984 and she proved to be a broodmare gem for the Douglas family in New Zealand.

The only other filly to win the SA Derby since has been Showella (NZ), a daughter of Lord Ballina, in 1999.

1991 saw Shiva's Revenge score and the son of Nassipour (USA) would later run a luckless second in a Melbourne Cup and finish second in an Adelaide Cup.

Subzero won the SA Derby in 1992 and he would win the Melbourne Cup on a wet track the next season, and take out the G1 Adelaide Cup (3200m) too.

The SA Derby does have a solid record of producing future Melbourne Cup runners, and some placegetters too.

Count Chivas won the SA Derby in 1995 and would go on to placed in a Melbourne Cup and win the 1996 Sydney Cup.

Narbethong trainer Cliff Brown has won three of the last seven runnings with Cheviot (1996), Markham (1997) and Blue Murder (2000).

Our Pompeii would win back-to-back Adelaide Cups (1993-94), after his SA Derby success.

The last two runnings of the SA Derby, won by Big Pat (2001) and Pantani (2002), have been over 2500m and that is where it will now stay.

The race often throws up long odds winners and brings late maturing stayers into prominence with Blue Murder (25/1), Pantani (30-1) last year, Bulta (50/1) and Cheviot (60/1).

The lead up form for past winners of the SAJC Derby is varied but two races, which seem to form a common thread, are the VRC St Leger (2800m) and the Veuve Clicquot Stakes (2000m).

Ten of the last fourteen Derby winners have either raced in the Veuve Clicquot or the St Leger, although winners of the Veuve Clicquot don't have the best record.

Markham was the only Veuve Clicquot winner in the last sixteen years to take out the double.

The VRC St Leger - SAJC Derby winners have been Shiva's Revenge (1991), Count Chivas (1995) and Big Pat (2001).



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Malaysia Airlines Derby Day
Celebrity host Nuala Hafner

The elite level action on the track continues with the colt’s classic – the Group 1 Malaysia Airlines SA Derby. Meanwhile, Morphettville will be awash with the flavours of Asia as the course welcomes entertainment, food and fascination from the Orient. More >>
Saturday 10th May
Morphettville Racecourse

Honda Fashion Stakes Day
Celebrity host Nicky Buckley

SA racing’s most glamorous day at the track. Honda Fashion Stakes Day, - “Hats, Handbags and Heels” is a non-miss event for those who love to dress up and party. On one side of the rail are all things fashion – on the other side is terrific racing including the Group 1 Honda Goodwood and Group 1 Feltex Carpet Oaks. More >>
Saturday 17th May
Morphettville Racecourse

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