Trainer Leon Macdonald will aim Gamblin’ Guru towards next year’s rich Autumn Carnivals after the three year old led all of the way to win the Listed $120,000 Emsley Lodge Geelong Classic (2200m) at Geelong today.
Gamblin’ Guru will be sent straight to the spelling paddock with Macdonald not interested in taking a spot in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2 with the New Approach three year old.
But Macdonald hasn’t ruled out a chance of running in the Classics next year with three Derbies on offer, the Australian Derby at Randwick in April, the South Australian Derby at Morphettville in May and the Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm in June.
“I think he will probably being going to the paddock,” Macdonald said.
Macdonald had intended to send Gamblin’ Guru to the paddock after his last start at Morphettville but after running second in the Listed $80,000 Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) decided to have another throw of the dice and came up trumps.
“When he ran so well and didn’t win we thought we would give him one more crack and it was good,” Macdonald said.
“I think in the Autumn he would be a much stronger and better horse than he is now.”
The top Adelaide trainer left the riding tactics up to Steven Arnold who controlled the race from the outset on Gamblin’ Guru ($3) before hanging on to win by a neck over Tupac Amaru ($2.70 favourite) who was gradually taking ground off the winner over the concluding stages.
“I left to him (Steven Arnold) and he summed it up pretty well,” Macdonald said.
Runner up Tupac Amaru never gave up in the straight and more than likely head to the Victoria Derby at Flemington on Saturday week.
The John Sadler trained Throw The King (($12) was eight lengths away in third spot in the five horse field.