Spreyton trainer Barry Campbell has opted to bypass next month’s Tasmanian Derby at home for his flying three-year-old Admiral who will instead be kept to shorter distance races before heading to Melbourne for a shot at the 2015 Australian Guineas in March.
The Mossman gelding has won eight of his 10 career starts since a successful two length debut at Hobart in October of 2013.
His early success included a black-type double as a two-year-old when he won the Listed Elwick Stakes (1100m) and the Listed Gold Sovereign Stakes (1200m) during last year’s Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
This latest campaign he ran second first-up over 1200m behind Valiant Warrior before improving at Launceston on New Year’s Eve to score an impressive four and a half-length victory over 1400m and turning the tables on his last start conqueror.
He won again next time out with jockey Brendon McCoull aboard for the 10th time on the trot when Admiral was stepped up to a mile for the first time to score an effortless three length win over Geegees Goldengirl in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m).
So impressive has his form been at home that Campbell and connections are keen to test his skills interstate this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, naming the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 7 as his major aim.
While earlier plans were to head towards the Guineas via the $100,000 Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) at Hobart on February 6, Campbell has now taken that lead-up race off he cards.
“I don’t think we have to go into the Guineas and the Derby he’s brilliant enough to win the shorter races,” Campbell told TasRacing.
“Once you go to that distance sometimes you’re stuck there.
“I think he’d win them but he’s not bred to stay so we’re just going to go the safer option with him.”
Instead the horse will be kept to 1600m and under and race at weight-for-age in the $100,000 Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes (1400m) on Hobart Cup Day, February 9, next start.
From there he will go to Launceston on February 25 for another WFA target, the $100,000 Listed George Adams Plate (1600m) before his raid on Melbourne.
“He’ll run in the Thomas Lyons, if he gets beaten in that we’ll spell him. If he doesn’t, if he wins, he’ll go through the George Adams and if he wins that he’ll go to Melbourne, if he gets beat he’ll go to the paddock because he’s only a baby and he’s immature but he’s got natural ability,” Campbell said.
“We’re gonna look after him. I want to have him when he’s five or six, I don’t want to kill him or burn him out.
“He’s earned 300,000 now there’s no reason he can’t be the next horse in Tassie to win the million.
“Yeah, pleased with him.”
The George Adams Plate is set to be a tough assignment as cult hero galloper The Cleaner is also heading towards the Launceston Cup Day feature.
Mick Burles’s seven-year-old Group 2 winner in Melbourne will resume in the race first-up having last run ninth to Elite Belle in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Before the Railway Stakes, which Burles never wanted the horse to travel to Perth at the end of his campaign to target, The Cleaner ran third to Hucklebuck in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Like Admiral he too is Melbourne-bound again this autumn with the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 14 scheduled as his second-up run.
Campbell admits that he’s scared of The Cleaner but his horse will get a four kilogram advantage carrying 55kg to his older rival’s 59kg this time of year.
“The Cleaner he worries me but we can’t beat him in our box so we’ll have a crack and see what happens,” the Hall of Famer said.
“We’ll roll the dice and see what happens.”
Campbell couldn’t be more pleased with Admiral’s condition though with the progressive galloper having come through his last run in excellent order.
“He’s spot on we only have to tick him over now. He’s had two trials, three runs,” he said.
“He pulled up really good from the other day.
“He’s just tightened up that little bit from the run. He looks really good.”
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