A more mature Gamblin’ Guru will head to Sydney to tackle the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12.
Gamblin’ Guru was sent to the paddock after winning the Listed $120,000 Emsley Lodge Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong on October 23 last year when Leon McDonald and co-trainer Andrew Gluyas thought the three year old was too immature to tackle the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington ten days later.
McDonald is comfortable with that decision and says that they will head to Sydney with a much more mature racehorse.
“He has strengthened up and is more mature but still has some developing to do and we’ll see how he goes over the next few weeks,” McDonald told AAP.
“We stepped up his work last week and he is handling it well.”
“We hope to get him to Sydney.
“He’s talented and we know he can stay and he handled the wet track at Geelong which he could get in Sydney.”
McDonald is hoping that history will repeat itself for himself and owner Harry Perks when they ventured to Sydney back in 1998 with Gold Guru who was able to claim two Group 1 trophies.
Gold Guru was able to beat all-time great Might And Power in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes at (2000m) at Rosehill before coming out two starts later to beat multiple Group 1 weight for age winner Tie The Knot in the Australian Derby.
The Morphettville trainer is hoping to kick off Gamblin’ Guru’s Autumn Carnival campaign on his home track before finalising an interstate trip.
The Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12 is one of four Group 1s on the first day of the two day Randwick Autumn Carnival renamed ‘The Championshps.’
The other three Group 1s to be run on the first day of ‘The Championships’ are the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) and the $1m Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
While the four Group 1s to be contested on the second day are $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), the $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), the $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) and the $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).