Having confirmed the major Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) as the major target for young gelding Koroibete this preparation, leading trainer Gerald Ryan is hopeful of a successful form-finding run for the three-year-old in this weekend’s Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), having yet to cause much of an impact in two races starts this preparation.
Including the son of Kheleyf in nominations for last weekend’s Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Ryan elected to remove the young stayer from an appearance on account of the particularly wet track; a choice that was later proven correct after the damp surface caused the undoing of several leading contenders, including Cox Plate/Australian Guineas champion Shamus Award and highly-regarded New Zealand raider Puccini.
“I’m hope we will get a better track this week” Ryan told AAP on Wednesday.
“He has probably been half a race behind, so I think it is better for him to go over the 2000 metres and back up a week later over 2400.
“He has had three hard gallops recently and he’s fit enough.”
Koroibete claimed an impressive three wins and three places in his six races through 2013, including an impressive near-two length victory in the 2014 ATC Membership On Sale Maiden (1800m) on December 14th.
Having returned with a relatively strong run for seventh in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) first-up on March 1st, Koroibete was unable to match the late pace of eventual champion Dissident in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 15th, finishing well out of contention in 10th.
Aiming to become the first runner to complete the Tulloch Stakes/Australian Derby double since Starcraft in 2004, Koroibete is currently given little hope for success in betting markets for the 2014 edition of the Derby, offered to punters at a particularly generous quote of $21.
Having returned to the track in top form and secured a maiden Group 1 title in the Rosehill Guineas last weekend, Criterion is currently leading betting markets for the 2014 Australian Derby at $3.60 odds ahead of Puccini and Thunder Fantasy; sharing the second line of betting at $7.50 odds, and Teronado ($9).
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