Trainer Leon Macdonald is confident that talented gelding Gamblin’ Guru will be competitive when he makes his weight-for-age debut in the 2014 Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville on Saturday.
Gamblin’ Guru was sent to the spelling paddock after he finished a close fourth behind Kushadasi in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 3 and Macdonald told Racing Ahead that the son of New Approach took plenty of benefit from his stint in the spelling paddock.
Macdonald admits that Spring Stakes winner Riziz will prove very difficult to beat in the Penny Edition Stakes, but he believes that Gamblin’ Guru is well placed to run a strong race at the start of his spring campaign.
“He has worked really well,” Macdonald said.
“He did spell well after a very good preparation last time and he has come back in well.
“I suppose the weight-for-age conditions favor Riziz pretty strongly, but I am sure he will equip himself well.
“He had a jump out last week and then he galloped Tuesday morning over 1400 and I was pretty happy with the way he worked.
“Riziz has got to be the measuring stick, but a few of the others are not quite up to it and some of the others are getting a bit old.
“He should be competitive.”
Gamblin’ Guru recorded race wins in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas over 1800 metres and the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes over 2000 metres as a three-year-old and was far from disgraced over the 2500 metres of the South Australian Derby.
Macdonald included Gamblin’ Guru in the nominations for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but he is unsure whether the four-year-old has the talent to compete at Group level in Melbourne and believes that 2000 metres may be the peak distance for the Group 3 winner.
“I think that he can be a middle distance horse and 1600 to 2000 probably suits him really well,” Macdonald said,
“He probably does get over a bit of a trip as well, but I think that 2000 metres is his go.”
Riziz ($1.75) is currently a clear favourite from Karacatis ($4.60) and Justify That ($8.50) in the 2014 Penny Edition Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia, but Gamblin’ Guru has been the best backed runner in the field and is into $10 after opening at $12.