The Ron Quinton-trained Royal Celebration is one...
Peter & Paul Snowden’s Queensland Derby 2018 bound three-year-old California Turbo will gear up for the Group 1 in June via a run in Brisbane’s Group 2 $125,000 Gunsynd Classic (1630m) at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday.
A field full of young staying types eyeing a shot in the Group 1 $600,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2200m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day, June 9, do battle on Victory Stakes Day this weekend in the Gunsynd Classic.
Gunsynd Classic betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is dominated by the firming $2.60 favourite Villermont, Ciaron Maher’s Melbourne-trained All Too Hard colt looking for his first win since last November’s Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
Maher chases back-to-back Queensland Derby wins in 2018 having prepared last year’s champion Ruthven (2017) for his nearly four length romp home on the back of a lead-up second in the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m).
In-form Fastnet Rock gelding California Turbo meanwhile is one of the single-figure challengers at current Gunsynd Classic odds of $8 to extend his winning streak to three on the trot.
Having lost just one of his four career starts to date, the up-and-comer made his black-type debut last time out at Randwick narrowly taking out the Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) on April 14.
That followed a Class 1 win at Newcastle, proving his ability and hinting at a possible potential to stay further that will be explored as he goes up to a mile on Saturday.
“He won effortlessly at Newcastle when they went mad in front,” co-trainer Paul Snowden told Racing Victoria this week.
“He was the only horse who came from last to win that day.
“It was no surprise to us to see him win at Randwick last time.
“The odds were no reflection as everyone considered his form coming off a provincial win into a Listed race.”
His major aim should all go well is the Queensland Derby, nominations for which close next Tuesday morning.
California Turbo is the shortest-priced of the Gunsynd Classic runners in pre-field Queensland Derby betting at bookies around the country paying around $12 to win the winter feature, but doesn’t need to win to press onto the Group 1.
“I’m sure he’ll stay but this run on Saturday won’t decide if he runs in the Derby,” Snowden added.
“He’ll have another run over 2000 metres in a couple of weeks which will probably determine if we push on.
“We want him going into the Derby with four runs under his belt.
“I’ve got little doubt he’ll stay as there’s plenty of stoutness on his dam’s side and he’s by Fastnet Rock.”
Higher Ground is the early favourite in futures Queensland Derby odds, the Chris Waller-trained So You Think colt impressive winning the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick last weekend.
On Saturday in the Gunsynd Classic, California Turbo is drawn in barrier seven with Robbie Fradd to ride and Snowden said instructions would be to settle the galloper midfield leaving late options open.
“If they go fast, they can stop just as fast,” he said.
“He’s still learning but he’s got a good turn of foot.
“I expect they’ll roll along in this race so he won’t be on the pace and he’ll settle midfield.”
To back California Turbo on the weekend and to access the upcoming Queensland Derby 2018 odds online head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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