Trainer Murray Baker has confirmed that rising stayer Mongolian Khan will be included in the 2015 Australian Derby nominations and is a chance of making the trip to Australia for the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Mongolian Khan started his racing career with three race wins from four race starts and he stamped himself as a leading contender for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) when he recorded an impressive win in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.
“We were pleased because he hadn’t run for seven weeks and first-up over 2000 he won with a bit in hand,” Baker told Racing Ahead.
“I thought that it was a good effort because he is bound to improve on it.
“He was the favourite and we thought that he was a good chance because his work had been good and he was second in a trial in between.
“We think that he is just a natural stayer and that will help him plus he always jumps and runs near the lead, which is an advantage because you don’t have to run through the field.”
Mongolian Khan is set to contest the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2000m) at Ellerslie on February 14 before he progresses to the New Zealand Derby a fortnight later.
Donna Logan-trained Volkstok’n’barrell has been the standout performer in New Zealand this season and is a clear favourite in New Zealand Derby betting markets, but Baker feels that Mongolian Khan is good enough to deliver him his first win in the New Zealand Derby and potentially head to Sydney for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4.
“I am confident that we are right in the mix,” Baker said.
“Obviously that horse (Volkstok’n’barrell ) is a good horse that has won five out of six and he hasn’t raced past a mile.
“If he can stay he has to be a great show, so it is hard to say, but they will meet in the Avondale Guineas in two weeks’ time and on to the Derby after that.
“We will certainly be nominating him for the AJC (Australian) Derby.
“They close early next week and obviously if he runs well in the New Zealand Derby you have to look at getting to Australia.”
Baker is chasing his third win in the Australian Derby after previously winning the race with Nom Du Jeu (2008) and It’s A Dundeel (2013).