OTI racing’s latest acquisition Castlzeberg will make his Australian debut in the Group 1 $1.5 million 2013 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 13.
The talented three-year-old stayer arrived at new trainer Danny O’Brien’s Victorian stable last Sunday week after running third in the New Zealand Derby.
The son of Castledale has had seven starts since making his debut in November which is the major reason for not having another lead-up run before the Derby.
“He’s already had a decent season and is pretty fit,” OTI’s Terry Henderson told Racing Victoria.
Henderson said the emerging galloper has settled in well to Australian life and that O’Brien is “delighted” with him.
Castlzeberg has two career victories to his name and is yet to miss a top-three finish from seven starts.
Apart from the Derby third, he won the Group 2 Waikato Guineas in early February and was runner-up in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas.
Castlzeberg is one of 65 horses nominated for the Australian Derby along with fellow Kiwis It’s A Dundeel and Habibi.
The Murray Baker-trained It’s A Dundeel has raced predominantly in Australia and will run second-up in the Randwick Guineas this weekend after finishing fourth to Pierro in the Hobartville Stakes last Saturday week.
New Zealand Derby winner Habibi has been confirmed for a trip to Australian but the filly is more likely to contest the Group 1 2013 Australian Oaks (2400m) rather than take on the boys in the Derby.
The Ekraar filly has won six of seven starts and will bypass the New Zealand Oaks in favour of an Australian trip.
“We’re thinking of either Sydney or Brisbane, but we’re leaning towards Sydney as going to Brisbane can make it difficult to have a spring campaign,” co-trainer Dean Logan said.
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