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Ecumenical eyes hat-trick, as Leon aims for lucky 7

Ecumenical is gunning for a rare hat-trick of black-type Adelaide races for two-year-olds in the Group 3 TAB SA Sires Produce Stakes tomorrow – while trainer Leon Macdonald is aiming for his seventh Sires win.

The 1400m event will be run on The Parks track as part of Morphettville’s big SA Derby day meeting.

Trained at Murray Bridge by Mick Huxtable, Ecumenical was simply outstanding last start, winning the Group 3 Breeders Stakes (1200m) on Anzac Day, with no excuses for the runners behind her. She was comfortably holding the rest of the field at the winning post, suggesting the extra 200m of tomorrow’s race will pose few problems.

Gordon Richards’ talented Crown Mint was possibly the best run behind Ecumenical in the Breeders Stakes and the trainer said this week his horse would also appreciate the extra distance.

Bribery – from the McEvoy yard – was solid behind Ecumenical and has been consistent throughout a lengthy preparation. Stablemate Violin also ran well in the Breeders and should be around the mark.

Indictment brings ‘new’ form across the border for trainer Ken Keys, including a last-start third in a Listed race over 1400m at Flemington on Anzac Day, when only overhauled inside the final 50m.

Fellow Victorian The Last Charge led all the way to win at Bendigo over 1100m on April 22, and could be hard to run down in this stronger company.

Ichibansan was beaten a long way last start but could improve, while the colt’s Macdonald-Gluyas stablemate Vancouver Velvet ran home well at his most recent start. As a solo trainer, Macdonald won the Sires Produce Stakes four times and has won it twice more with Gluyas, most recently in 2018 with Tequila Time. Tony McEvoy has won the race three times as a solo trainer.

Jockeys Todd Pannell, Jason Holder and Damien Thornton have all won the race once before.

Selections: 1. Ecumenical; 2. Crown Mint; 3. Indictment; 4. Violinist.

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