Leon Macdonald-trained Gamblin’ Guru led from start to finish to win the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) this afternoon but is unlikely to be entered for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2400m) at Flemington next Saturday.
Jockey Steven Arnold took Gamblin’ Guru straight to the front of the field and while he didn’t settle immediately kept enough gas in the tank to hold off Darley colt Tupac Amaru who finished strongly in what was a decent trial for the Victoria Derby.
Macdonald was pleased with the victory and said that Gamblin’ Guru would likely go to the paddock, after a lengthy campaign in Adelaide, rather than press on to the Victoria Derby next weekend.
“I’ll talk to the owners but he will probably be going to the paddock,” Macdonald said after the race.
“I don’t know whether we really need him there at a mile and a half at this stage of his life.
“I think in the autumn he will be a much stronger and better horse than he is now.”
Arnold controlled the race as soon as the barriers opened but admitted that he struggled to get the three-year-old to settle in the early stages of the race.
“I wasn’t really positive because he had the blinkers on and can over race anyway so I sort of just let him slide until he came back to me and down the back he was good,” Arnold said.
“He gave me a nice kick around the corner and it was a gutsy effort to hold on.”
The leading jockey, who will ride Mull Of Killough in the Cox Plate on Saturday, believes there is still plenty of improvement ahead of the gelding but does not think starting the three-year-old in the Victoria Derby would be a good option.
“He is still not there yet; he is an immature horse and lacks a bit of strength still and he will be better next time,” Arnold said.
“He gave me a nice feel during the run and quickened well but I think it might be a bit of an ask to go onto the Derby because he is a bit immature.”
There is still plenty of great racing take place at Geelong this afternoon and you can find the best odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Geelong Classic Finishing Order
|1||1||GAMBLIN’ GURU||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Steven Arnold||–||5||56kg||$3|
|2||5||TUPAC AMARU||Peter Snowden||Craig Newitt||0.3L||2||56kg||$2.70F|
|3||4||THROW THE KING||John Sadler||Thomas Sadler (a)||8.3L||4||56kg||$12|
|4||3||GRAVITATIONAL||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||8.5L||3||56kg||$9|
|5||6||DARK THUNDER (NZ)||Robbie Laing||Dean Yendall||15.5L||1||56kg||$5.50|