Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
An impressive Group 1 win across the Tasman over the weekend has the Te Akau Racing stable confident ahead of a 2017 Caulfield Cup bid back down under with the autumn’s Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts.
The now four-year-old son of Iffraaj resumed at Hastings on September running fifth to Close Up in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), but was back in the winner’s stall last Saturday.
Returning to Hastings, the Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards-trained Gingernuts overcame a tough run in the Group 1 Windsor Park Horlicks Plate (1600m) running down his last start conqueror Close Up (2nd) for the mile win.
Te Akau’s David Ellis was thrilled with the performance from the young stayer who is due to have another run in New Zealand in the Livamol Classic before coming to Victoria to chase the Spring Cups double.
“He’s come through the race brilliantly and he will now go forward to the Livamol,” Ellis told Trackside on Sunday morning.
“From there it will be on to the Caulfield Cup.”
Winner of the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) over the mile and a half as a three-year-old last autumn, Gingernuts debuted in Australia winning the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in the wet in Sydney on March 18.
He then failed to make it a double down under when NZ Derby third placegetter Jon Snow backed up from a Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) win over Prized Icon at Rosehill to win the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m), Gingernuts finishing just over three lengths fifth.
Looking an improved and more mature horse this time in, the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21 is now calling for Gingernuts who is allocated 55kg for the classic.
Futures Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au currently list Gingernuts as a $13 chance with the Darren Weir-trained Humidor ($6) leading the markets after his upset win in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 16.
The last New Zealand-trained Caulfield Cup winner was Mongolian Khan (2015) and both he and last year’s champion Jameka won the race as four-year-olds.
Gingernuts could also be stepped-up to two miles on the first Tuesday of November for a shot at the Group 1 $6 million Melbourne Cup (3200m), a race he is also allocated 55kg for.
All-in Melbourne Cup betting has the reigning champion Almandin ($6.50) on top, while Gingernuts is at current quote of $17 to become the first four-year-old winner of the ‘race that stops a nation’ since Shocking (2009).
Part-owner Blair Alexander said Gingernuts had been a dream come true for the syndicate who was purchased for a mere $42,500 from the Ready To Run Sales.
“It’s been an amazing journey so far and now we are so close to achieving one of the dreams we have had for the horse,” he said.
“We turned down some very large offers for him, with one of the main reasons being the desire to try and win a race like the Caulfield or Melbourne Cup which is what just about everyone who has ever owned a horse has dreamed of.
“To have that opportunity about to be realised is a little surreal and quite frankly I think most of us are far more nervous now than we were before race like the New Zealand Derby last season.”
To back Gingernuts at the right price in early Caulfield Cup 2017 betting and Melbourne Cup odds this spring visit our preferred online sportsbook Ladbrokes.com.au.
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