Mongolian Khan was included in the 2015 Australian Derby field that was released this morning and trainer Murray Baker is hopeful that the talented stayer can produce an improved effort in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Mongolian Khan recorded six wins from seven starts in New Zealand and stamped himself as one of the most promising stayers in Australasia when he took out both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie on February 14 and the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the same venue on February 28.
The Holy Roman Emperor colt was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and jockey Opie Bosson elected to ride the three-year-old close to the speed, but he was unable to respond when asked for an extra effort and could only battle to the line to finish sixth.
Baker told Racing Ahead that he was disappointed with the Rosehill Guineas effort of Mongolian Khan, but the leading New Zealand trainer indicated that the New Zealand Derby winner had taken no harm from the run and he is hopeful that he the colt can fire when he steps-up to 2400 metres for the 2015 Australian Derby this weekend.
“He seems to be bright and healthy,” Baker said.
“It was very average and I thought it was fairly disappointing.
“He raced a bit flat or like he needed the run, one or the other, but he seems healthy enough and it didn’t damage him at all.
“He had been out at the spelling farm for five days and he came back on the Thursday and he raced a little bit fresh, so hopefully he has improved a lot.
“I came back late last week and I think that he has probably tightened up a bit, which is a good thing.
“We do know that he can run 2400 this horse.
“I know that Randwick is a lot different from Rosehill and a bit of give in the track wouldn’t hurt.”
Mongolian Khan remains in the acceptances for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Baker elected to back It’s A Dundeel up in the Group 1 event after he won the Australian Derby in 2013, but the Queen Elizabeth Stakes winning trainer confirmed that Mongolian Khan was highly unlikely to run in the $4 million event.
“I don’t think that is likely and he would have to put in an outstanding performance,” Baker said.
“It might be a bit much for him and at the moment we are concentrating on the Derby.”
Mongolian Khan is currently available at 2015 Australian Derby odds of $8, while Preferment ($3.50) is a narrow favourite from Volkstok’n’barrell ($4.60).