Eleven Victorians will contest two semi-finals of the 2008 Group 3 Coca-Cola SA Derby (515m) at Angle Park in Adelaide on Thursday night.
Amazingly, eight of the 11 are prepared by three trainers from Lara, a quaint township on the outskirts of Geelong on the way to Melbourne.
Leading female mentor Tina Womann has four semi-finalists (Our Man Bond, Spiral Glory, Extradited and Spiral Burow), while Kylie Hunt (Jaddua Bale and Kendale Bale) and Graeme Bate (Velocette and Turanza Bale) have two apiece.
Also flying the flag for Victoria are Barnik Boy, trained by Jodie Selleck of Tooradin; Premier Moment, prepared by Mandy Dapiran of Seymour; and Cold Cold Change, trained by Darren McDonald of Devon Meadows. (McDonald won the race with Come On Lleyton in 2001.)
Velocette finsihed secind in last month's Group 2 Traralgon Cup – was the fastest SA Derby heat winner (29.84sec), followed by local hope Manhattan Angel (30.13sec), Barnik Boy (30.15sec) and Cold Cold Change (30.43sec).
Since the event's inception in 1972, Victoria has produced 11 SA Derby winners – Speedy Mick (1986), Welcome Stranger (1989), Golden Currency (1993), Benchimes (1994), Jamella Prince (1998), Great Wish (1999), Come On Lleyton (2001), Wizard's Chess (2002), Our Spence (2004), Big Time Max (2006) and Merciless Lu (2007).