Degraves wait almost over for Bedggood

Adelaide most likely option for Bedggood’s injury-plagued G3-winning import

DEGRAVES (white cap) winning the The David Bourke at Flemington in Australia.
DEGRAVES (white cap) winning the The David Bourke at Flemington in Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Gavin Bedgood has not had to wait long to turn around many of the cast-offs he has enjoyed success with in recent seasons, but Degraves certainly does not sit in the category of Just Folk and company.

The Cranbourne horseman has had the gelding for more than 18 months but has had to patiently wait until this week to pull the covers off the former Joseph O'Brien-trained Group 3 winner.

Degraves is an acceptor at both Caulfield and Morphettville, with Bedggood leaning towards the 1550-metre Adelaide event despite Degraves being asked to carry 61.5kg after Sheridan Clarke's claim, compared to 55kg at Caulfield.

"I would say Adelaide is a more likely option because it's going to be soft ground over there and that's what he needs to be at his best," Bedggood said.

"It's just a kick off point. He hasn't been to the 'sports' in a long time, he's drawn well, so he's going to get a nice, soft run in behind the speed.

"I'm a realist, he's going to need the run, I imagine, but he'll still run well."

Degraves has not raced since winning over 2040m at Moonee Valley on September 4, 2021.

That made it two wins from three starts for the son of Camelot, who won The David Bourke (1620m) at Flemington at his first start for Robert Hickmott and Lloyd Williams.

Injuries then hit and Williams offered Degraves via Inglis Digital in December 2022, when Bedggood paid $90,000 for him.

"He was probably ready to step out six months ago but the tracks were just going to be too firm, so we thought we'd put him away and have him ready for this time of year," Bedggood said.

Even if Degraves is scratched from Caulfield, Bedggood will be represented in the $150,000 Sportsbet Race Replays Handicap that rounds out the card with Stageman to have his second start for the stable.

The nine-year-old finished seventh in the 1200m Gold Topaz at Swan Hill, beaten 6-3/4 lengths, which Bedggood considered a 'pass mark' and he expects him to improve with the extra distance of this week's 1440m event and the addition of blinkers.

"When you look at the data of the race, he's probably run as well as he could," Bedggood said of the Swan Hill run.

"He was just too close to his top the whole way.

"The step up to 1400 on Saturday will be an advantage, we've put blinkers on him and hopefully he can hold a spot just in behind the speed somewhere and his best would have him competitive in a race like this."

Stageman has drawn barrier three in the 12-horse event with Dean Yendall to take the ride.