Escado Gets Victory in South Australian Derby

The gelding is the second group I winner for young sire Casino Prince.

Jockey Ben Melham's decision to stick to the rail with lightly regarded Escado paid dividends with a breakthrough win for his mount in the Aus$500,000 South Australian Derby (Aus-I) May 4 at Morphettville.

Coming from near last, Escado charged through an opening on the rail as opponents fanned wide into the stretch. He struck the front 250 meters out and drew clear to win by nearly two lengths from recent group III winner Hioctane. Shoreham, a stakes winner at Flemington, finished third as the 4-1 favorite in the 15-horse field.

"Ben deserves all the credit for that win with his tactics,'' Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie told Adelaide Now. "We put the blinkers on as well, which probably gave the horse an edge, but he's shown before he's a good promising stayer."

Escado was timed in 2:39.05 for 2,500 meters (about 1 9/16 miles) on turf rated as dead. Laurie also added a first group I win to his record.

Sixth as a longshot behind winner Fiveandahalfstar in the Victoria Derby (Aus-I) last November, Escado was dismissed at 14-1 odds in the South Australian Derby and halted a nine-race winless skid that dated from a neck victory in a 1,600-meter (about one mile) handicap last July at Cranbourne.

Raced by a partnership, Escado has three wins, two seconds, and three thirds from 14 career starts. He is the second group I winner for Patinack Farm's young sire Casino Prince, joining  All Too Hard, the younger half brother to Black Caviar. Escado is his sire's third stakes winner overall.

Bred by Kineld Thoroughbred Racing, Escado is out of the winning Giant's Causeway  mare Secret Cause. Offered at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale, he failed to meet his Aus$55,000 reserve.