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Castlzeberg Joins OTI for Australian Derby Tilt

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New Zealand Derby third placegetterĀ Castlzeberg has arrived safely in Australia ahead of a tilt at next month’s Australian Derby.

The three-year-old travelled to Melbourne on Sunday night where he will be trained by Danny O’Brien for new owners OTI Racing.

OTI have confirmed the Castledale gelding will be targeted at the Group 1 Australian Derby at Randwick on April 13 without a further lead-up run.

“Exciting time for partners with Aust Derby next on agenda,” the offical OTI twitter account said.

OTI assumed ownership of the emerging galloper after his strong New Zealand Derby performance under former trainers Jenny and Bob Vance.

Castlzeberg raced at the front of the field and produced a tough effort to finish just a length behind highly-rated favourite Habibi.

From seven starts he has won twice and finished in the minor placings on five other occasions.

His biggest career highlight to date came in February when he annihilated a 13-horse field to win the Group 2 Waikato Guineas by four lengths.

Connections of Habibi will not rush into a decision about a potential trip across the Tasman for the exciting filly.

Co-trainer Donna Logan said they will weigh up their options over the next week.

The winner of six of seven starts could remain at home for the New Zealand Oaks later this month or travel to Australia where options include both the Derby and the Australian Oaks.

The Australian Derby generally features a contingent of New Zealand gallopers and heading the charge this year will be Murray Baker-trained colt It’s A Dundeel who finished fourth to Pierro in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.

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