Hauraki Kicks Off 2015 Australian Guineas Path

Big things are in the pipeline for Hauraki this autumn, which will kick off with the Super Vobis 3YO Plate (1300m) at Sandown on Saturday.

Hauraki will join stable mate Gouldian (inside) in the Super Vobis 3YO Plate at Sandown.

Hauraki will join stable mate Gouldian (inside) in the Super Vobis 3YO Plate at Sandown. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Trainer John O’Shea is preparing the colt for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 but he’ll need to impress in Saturday’s race to continue on the path.

Hauraki is one of nine talented three-year-olds set to tackle the Super Vobis 3YO Plate, all but one of which hold an Australian Guineas nomination, which means connections will get a good understanding of his potential.

“He’s well-bred, he’s very good looking and while I do think he’ll come into his own once he gets out in trip, to win the two 1400m races the way he has obviously suggests he’s got a really nice future,” Godolphin racing manager Jason Walsh told Racing Victoria.

“This is a really competitive race with some nice and progressive horses in it so we’ll get a good guide to his level on Saturday.”

Hauraki is one of two Godolphin horses running in Saturday’s race along with Gouldian. The three-year-old won his maiden last October along with a Benchmark 70 at Randwick on November 8, both of which were over 1400 metres.

He will jump from barrier five with Chad Schofield in the saddle and is the $4.20 favourite in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.

Following the Super Vobis 3YO Plate, Hauraki will likely head to the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on February 21.

Walsh also revealed hopes of taking the colt to Sydney in the latter half of the spring and running him in the $2 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

“He’s got a long preparation ahead of him and if he can tick all the boxes along the way we’re hoping that he might even make an Australian Derby colt,” he said.

“We think he’s got the makings of the sort of horse that can make his presence felt in those sort of races.

“Obviously he’ll take good improvement from the first-up run but we expect him to be more than competitive and hopefully he’s got a really bright future.”

Gouldian is the $21 outside chance in the Super Vobis 3YO Plate betting after finishing midfield in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) last spring.

“We set him on a Victoria Derby path in the Spring and he had a far-from-ideal preparation having to miss a run in the Moonee Valley Vase (2040m),” Walsh said.

“We’re keen to find out what level he is up to and whether he can run out a strong mile-and-a-half (2400m) this preparation.”

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