New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan has arrived down under this week set for a shot at a Trans-Tasman Derby double, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained champ targeting next month’s 2015 Australian Derby in Sydney.
The ultra-consistent Holy Roman Emperor colt has won six of his seven career starts to date and is in Australia now looking to add to that imposing record with a win in the coveted $2 million Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships, April 4.
Mongolian Khan, who landed in Oz on Monday, has won his past five on the trot including the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) – Group 2 NZ Avondale Guineas (2100m) double before his big Derby success.
The Group 1 win came on February 28 at Ellerslie when he and fellow top Kiwi three-year-old Volkstock’n’barrell ran the quienlla, a length separating them on the line, in the New Zealand Derby (2400m).
Both Mongolian Khan and the Donna Logan-trained Tavistock gelding Volkstock’n’barrell were on Monday among the 44 first acceptances taken for the Australian Derby.
Co-trainer Baker is no stranger to success in the classic having prepared two previous Australian Derby winners with It’s A Dundeel (2013) and Nom Du Jeu (2008).
He confirmed Mongolian Khan had a “trouble-free” flight from New Zealand to Australia, and was looking at a lead-up run into the Australian Derby for the horse in the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on Golden Slipper Day, March 21.
“He’s come through the (NZ) Derby in good order,” Baker told Racenet.
“The Australian Derby is his target, but with five weeks between his win last week and Randwick next month, there’s a good chance he’ll go to Rosehill.”
Baker also confirmed the horse’s regular jockey back home Opie Bosson would be staying on wherever Mongolian Khan runs.
“Why wouldn’t you leave him on? He’s a top class rider anywhere,” he said.
Updated Australian Derby betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are currently led by the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec ($4.80) who ran a brave fourth when one and a quarter lengths off the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner Wandjina in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday.
Mongolian Khan meanwhile occupies the second line of the all-in Australian Derby odds at $6, an equal price with the John O’Shea-trained Randwick Guineas runner-up from last weekend Sweynesse.
Volkstock’n’barrell is another one of the six single figure chances paying $9, equal in the markets with Waterhouse’s Spring Champion Stakes winner from last October Hampton Court.
The other single figure hope is Waller’s Victoria Derby winner Preferment ($8) who was far from disgraced when sixth in the Randwick Guineas, of six winners, over the mile which is short of his preferred.
To check out the full Australian Guineas betting odds and options available before the final field is released on March 31, visit Ladbrokes.com.au and open an account with the bookmaker rewarding new depositing players that quote the code BETBONUS with up to $250 in free bets!