He spotted each of his rivals around six months in age, was 1600 metres up to 2500m at just his third start this campaign after missing two lead-up runs and was wide throughout, but it didn’t stop Russian Camelot franking his huge reputation in Saturday’s $400,000 South Australian Derby.

The Danny O’Brien-trained colt, who was bred to Northern Hemisphere time in Ireland, justified a strong betting move to win what many considered the strongest SA Derby in decades and charge to the top of Melbourne Cup markets.

The son of Camelot, who started $2.90 favourite, defeated star local Dalasan ($3.80) by 1.75 lengths with Victoria Derby winner Warning ($4.40) a length away third in the Group 1 contest.

John Allen, who celebrated his third SA Derby win in five seasons aboard Russian Camelot, was blown away by the win.

“Obviously, he’s an exceptional horse,” he said. “A lot’s been make of his preparation, but I think the bigger factor is he’s still six months younger than these horses.

“If he can beat them now, when he’s only just turned three, imagine what he can in six months or a year’s time.”BetEasy agree, promoting Russian Camelot to the $13 top line of betting in its Melbourne Cup market.

Allen found himself posted three wide from his middle alley but instead of panicking, allowed Russian Camelot to travel within himself before letting him creep into the race rounding the home turn.

Despite the wide run, it was evident early in the straight he would be in the finish and hit the front inside the final 150m before edging away late under little riding.

“I was comfortable with the yay he was travelling (early), but probably not comfortable where I was in the race,” Allen said.

“Danny filled me with confidence. He said, ‘ride this horse like he was the best horse’ and he was confident if he was close enough on the corner that he’d have a better turn of foot and it proved that way.

“He was just a superior horse.”

The Derby victory was Russian Camelot’s third win, following a Ballarat maiden win last October and Pakenham benchmark 64 over 1600m at his final start before the Derby, from just five starts and lifted his career earnings to $324,000.

Jason Holder and Damien Thornton, riders of the minor placegetters, were not interested in making excuses for their mounts.

“No excuses,” Holder said. “We had a nice run in transit and presented to win, but the other horse was too good.”

Thornton said of Warning: “He was honest, I would have liked to get rolling earlier, but the best horse won.”

With Terry McAuliffe