While the headline Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival contender for New Zealand horseman Andrew Campbell this year is his Caulfield Guineas hope Cauthen, the Te Horo Beach-based trainer is also bringing over Weissmuller for a shot at the 2013 Cox Plate.
Handsome Ransom three-year-old Weissmuller has had six starts back home for two wins including the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) by two and a half lengths back in January.
They were disappointing last start however when stepped up to Group 1 company for the New Zealand Derby at the end of their prep.
At Ellerslie on March 2 Weissmuller went up to the 2400m in the Derby after jumping from a wide barrier 16 of 18 draw and was miles back from the frontrunners throughout eventually finishing nearly 14 lengths away 12th to Habibi.
That run, and their previous three also distant failings on Good rated tracks since the Wellington Stakes, showed their obvious affinity for the give out of the ground.
Campbell is hoping they will get that when they race in Victoria this spring.
While it’s an ambitious aim Weissmuller will be nominated for the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Their first-up run meanwhile is at this stage penciled in as a $100,000 Open Handicap over the 1400m at Flemington on August 10.
Of course much of Campbell’s attention will be on Weissmuller’s crack stablemate Cauthen who landed in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
The talented Darci Brahma colt, a rising three-year-old, has had just the one run so far but it was impressive enough to warrant a trip across the Tasman.
They debuted at Te Rapa on July 3 over the 1200m and caught the eye with their big eight and a half length winning effort which threw them into the spotlight for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12.
“We’ve always thought he was a great horse and his debut proved that,” Campbell told RSN’s Racing Ahead speaking of their win.
“It wasn’t a fluke, he ran a second faster than the other two-year-old race on the day and was really untouched.
“We’ve never had him wound up, we’ve always had this campaign in mind with him, and he’s really come through well.”
Cauthen, who will be based at Peter Morgan’s Whittlesea stables for their Aussie stint, could debut down under as early as next week if all goes to plan with Campbell looking at the $80,000 benchmark 78 for three-year-olds over 1000m at Moonee Valley on Saturday week, August 3.
A win there will help the promising galloper make the field for their first black type assignment down under, the $125,000 Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 17, for which they are currently in danger of missing a start in.
“Our biggest concern is making the field for the Vain,” Campbell said.
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