Australian Derby First-Up Likely for Mongolian Khan

By: Jared Timms
March 2nd, 2015

A standout performer in major events in his native New Zealand over his short racing career so-far, trainer Murray Baker has revealed classy three-year-old Mongolian Khan may not again appear at the races until lining up for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on Day 1 of The Championships.

Murray Baker most recently tasted Australian Derby success in 2013 with Dundeel. Photo: Steve Hart

Murray Baker most recently tasted Australian Derby success in 2013 with Dundeel. Photo: Steve Hart

Having posted an impressive six wins from his seven competitive starts so far, Mongolian Khan stamped his claims as a serious Australian Derby prospect over the weekend when charging home to comfortably take out the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) by a length.

Understandably thrilled with the results posted by the Holy Roman Emperor colt so far, Baker told TVN he is confident his recent form and proven first-up abilities at longer distances suggest Mongolian Khan will perform competitively should he contest the 2015 Australian Derby without another competitive hit-out under his belt.

“He’s a good colt; he’s only been beaten once. He’s tough,” Baker said.

“The horse that he beat (in the New Zealand Derby, Volkstok’n’barrell) goes pretty good — they pulled away from the rest by five or six lengths.

“He’s a tough bugger. He’s a really good stayer — the faster they go the better it suits him.

“He races reasonably handy; he’s just a good stayer. He’s a half-brother to Young Centaur, who won a Wellington Cup over two miles.

“Without any nonsense, he’s a lovely horse. He’s like an equine film star.

“We haven’t decided yet, but he didn’t have a run for seven weeks when he won first up over 2000.”

Taking out a minor over 1400m on debut in September, Mongolian Khan was unable to match the pace when 11th in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), but responded in the best way possible in taking out each of his next two starts, including the Listed Guineas Prelude (2100m) on December 14th.

Returning with a half-length victory in the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) on January 31srt, the colt out of Centafit jogged in the win the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) by two lengths on February 14th, in what was his only other start prior to his New Zealand Derby triumph.

Mongolian Khan is currently rated an $8 chance for success in the 2015 Australian Derby with Ladbrokes Australia; figuring as sole occupant of the third line behind Sweynesse ($6), Kermadec and Preferment ($7 each).

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