Securing several impressive results over his most recent racing preparation, trainer Leon Macdonald has revealed he is unsure whether or not talented four-year-old Gamblin’ Guru will progress to Group 1 form through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, ahead of his return to racing in this weekend’s Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville.
Arguably one of South Australia’s most exciting racing prospects currently in work, Gamblin’ Guru has not been seen at the races since running on to claim an impressive fourth in the featured Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) on May 3rd.
Yet to settle on a path beyond this weekend’s Morphettville feature, Macdonald said the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18th with figure as the major target should the New Approach gelding’s form warrant a position.
“I don’t know whether he’s going to be a Group 1 horse in Melbourne, probably not,” Macdonald told Adelaide Now.
“Those races just off the top for tough horses; they’ll probably suit him well.
“If he does well and gets into a Caulfield Cup, which is a handicap, that would be the way we go. I’ve got no doubt he runs 2400m.
“But my gut feeling he’s a smart horse, who’s just off the top level.”
Shaking off the cobwebs when fifth in a minor event over 1000m first-up on February 15th, Gamblin’ Guru appeared to be building in form when finishing second to fellow Penny Edition acceptor Riziz in the Adelaide Galvanising Handicap (1200m), however suffered a nasty fall during the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) on March 10th.
Recovering to claim impressive victories back-to-back in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) and Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) prior to the SA Derby, Macdonald said he could not be more pleased with Gamblin’ Guru’s form leading into the 2014 Penny Edition Stakes, but believes the weight-for-age scale may work against his chances of first-up success.
“He’s a tough horse, not many horses would’ve gotten over the fall he had a trained on,” Macdonald said.
“He did a very good job last prep.
“The biggest thing against is the weight-for-age scale. A horse like Riziz looks head and shoulders above the rest and given he’s won at 1600m he looks perfectly weighted.
“But our horse is good, we’re happy with him. I just want to see him run on.
“We’ll see how he comes through Saturday then we’ll study the program and decide where we go.”
Securing a competitive total of four wins and five minor places from just 15 competitive starts so far, Gamblin’ Guru will leave from the central barrier 5 in the 2014 Penny Edition Stakes, and is currently available at a generous quote of $10 for success at Ladbrokes.com.au.