The furthest thing from the mind of trainer Matthew Williams when imported stayer Darvin commenced his campaign in December was the Adelaide Cup.
Williams explained he was hoping to ‘just win a race’ with the five-year-old, but after successive wins over 3000m Monday’s Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville came on the radar.
Warrnambool-based Williams says Darvin will relish the 3200m as well as the roomier Morphettville track after victories at Sandown and The Valley at his past two starts.
“He’s certainly nowhere near the fastest horse in the stable, he hasn’t got much of a change up gear there, but he’s got one great attribute, he can stick on and stay,” Williams said.
“If he gets that tempo right, he can find a length or two, and then he can sustain that over ground.”
Darvin jumps from barrier seven and will again be ridden by Dean Yendall who has been aboard the stayer in his past two outings.
Williams says the plan will be simple for Yendall once the gates open.
“He’s drawn nice enough with next to no weight on his back so he’ll roll forward,” Williams said.
“He’ll be nice and handy in it.”
Apart from fellow Warrnambool galloper Tralee Rose, trained by Symon Wilde, Williams does not see the Adelaide Cup as being overly strong.
Tralee Rose, a winner of five of her last six starts, including the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on January 1 and the traditional Adelaide Cup lead-up, the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on February 20, dominates betting with TAB.
She is the $1.90 favourite, although there has been support for Starcaster, a last start winner at The Valley on February 12, who has shortened from $13 into $9.
Darvin is a $14 chance.