Co-trainer Chris Gibbs confirmed over the weekend that the stable’s progressive young stayer Tavidream was “definitely Queensland Derby bound” after a win at Ellerslie across the Tasman.
A well-bred son of Tavistock, Tavidream is prepared by Donna Logan and Gibbs in New Zealand but has been confirmed for a trip down under this Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
The galloper was on trial for a $600,000 Group 1 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m) bid when racing back home over the weekend in the Group 2 Valachi Downs Championship Stakes (2100m).
Ridden by Alysha Collett, Tavidream held on for a narrow victory defeating Charles Road by a neck in the horse’s first test over further than a mile.
Based on the performance, Gibbs was quick to confirm plans to head to Brisbane in the winter for the Queensland Derby contested over the mile and a half at Eagle Farm Racecourse on June 10.
“He’s definitely Queensland Derby bound,” Gibbs, also a part-owner, told the New Zealand Racing Desk post-win on Saturday.
“The [NZ] Derby here just came up too soon for him so we backed off and he’s rewarded us today so it’s onwards and upwards.”
Gibbs said the interest from potential new buyers continued to grow each time Tavidream stepped out and performed, the galloper having now won five of his seven career starts.
“Each time he wins the more the offers come in,” he said.
“He had to step up again [in the Championship Stakes] and there was a lot of good horses here.
“Charles Road gave him a run and it was nice to see our horse fight like that.”
Tavidream shares a sire with the 2015 VRC Derby winner Tarzino, while co-trainer Logan has enjoyed dual Group 1 wins in Australia with Rising Romance (2014 ATC Oaks) and Volkstok’n’barrell (2015 Rosehill Guineas).
Also on track for a Brisbane raid for the stable in the coming weeks is Qiji Phoenix, the two-year-old Not A Single Doubt colt another Ellerslie winner over the weekend.
The up-and-coming juvenile ran away with a two length win in the Listed Diamond Lodge Champagne Stakes (1600m) and will be set for a $600,000 Group 1 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) run on the same day as the Queensland Derby.
Early Queensland Derby betting markets in Australia have the former New Zealand-raced Mongolian Wolf installed as the $7 favourite for new trainer Darren Weir.
Kiwi raiders Jon Snow and Gingernuts are the other best fancied in the pre-nomination odds after their Group 1 wins in Sydney over the autumn in the ATC Derby and Rosehill Guineas respectively.
A host of potential new Queensland Derby hopefuls will face off at Eagle Farm this Saturday in the $125,000 Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m).