Gingernuts ready for Sydney challenge
‘‘The Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby are meat and veges to New Zealand's best staying threeyear-olds.’’
Fresh from his wonderful victory in the $1 million New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie last week, Gingernuts is set to take on Australia’s best three-year-olds at the Sydney autumn carnival.
Gingernuts was given the green light to cross the Tasman and was flown to Sydney on Monday with co-trainer Jamie Richards. He will be stabled with former Matamata trainer John Sargent at Randwick and is scheduled to have his campaign opener in Saturday’s A$600,000 Rosehill Guineas.
Opie Bosson, no stranger to success in Australia’s best races, has been booked for the 2000-metre race and all going to plan, Gingernuts will then be aimed at the A$2 million ATC Australian Derby at Randwick on April 1.
The Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby are meat and veges to New Zealand’s best staying three-year-olds.
Recent evidence of that includes Volkstok’n’barrell, who followed his second placing in the 2015 New Zealand Derby with victory in the Guineas, while Mongolian Khan, the horse that beat Volkstok’n’barrell in the Ellerslie classic, completed a Derby double at Randwick in the hands of Opie Bosson.
Two important factors make Gingernuts an ideal candidate to add to the Kiwi three-year-olds’ record in Sydney. He handles a wide range of underfoot conditions and unlike many of his contemporaries, he heads into the Sydney carnival off the back of a comparatively light summer campaign.
‘‘He’s a horse that we think is still on the way up, he’s absolutely thrived since the Derby,’’ says senior co-trainer Stephen Autridge.
‘‘The other thing is the way he handled that soft track in the Avondale Guineas and then came out and won the Derby on good ground.
‘‘With the way the weather has been in Sydney, it’s reassuring to know he should cop whatever they serve up over there.’’
Gingernuts is likely to be the only Te Akau-trained runner in Sydney, but plans are well in hand to take a strong team headed by Group One-winning colts Hall Of Fame and Heroic Valour to the Queensland winter carnival.
New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts kicks off his Sydney campaign in the Rosehill Guineas on Saturday.