Australian Thoroughbred

A-Z of Australian Horse Racing and Breeding.

March 23, 2018
Photo: Vin De Dance (inside) defeats Mongolianconqueror in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m)

Trish Dunell

Champion Kiwi trainer Murray Baker is sweating on a scratching to allow his emerging three-year-old Mongolian Marshal his shot at Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) glory on Saturday.

Baker and his training partner Andrew Forsman have made no secret of how highly they regard the two-win High Chaparral gelding, who races in the same colours as their 2015 Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Mongolian Khan.

Baker was rapt with barrier draws for his three Rosehill Guineas candidates - barrier three for Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Vin De Dance, eight for Mission Hill and barrier two for Mongolian Marshal - but his more pressing concern was seeing the latter promoted from one on the ballot to gaining a start.

"They’re outstanding draws but I just hope Mongolian Marshal makes the field," Baker said.

"If it gets wet, things could change."

With rain forecast for Sydney over the next three days, Rosehill is likely to be rain-affected which could prompt some connections to scratch and tackle Saturday week's Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in the hope of superior track conditions.

"A rain-affected track shouldn't worry our three too much. They should all go on it," Baker said.

Baker, who produced Dundeel to win the Rosehill Guineas-Australian Derby double in 2013, said Rosehill Guineas preparations for his trio had gone to the letter.

"Vin De Dance did win the New Zealand Derby and he goes in the wet. He's a good, strong horse and he's gone on well since his win at Ellerslie.

"Mission Hill hasn't had a lot of luck in his last two but he's a good stayer and he can make his mark with the right run, while Mongolian Marshal is our horse on the way up.

"We're happy with them. They're well and they'll have their chance. It's a strong race but a bit of rain could level it up."

Neds have Vin De Dance, to be ridden by his Derby-winning jockey Jason Waddell, as a $6 third favourite in a market headed by Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Ace High at $4.80.

Should Mongolian Marshal not gain a start in the Rosehill Guineas, both he and Weather With You will tackle the Tulloch Stakes with a view to backing up in the Gr.1 $A2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick seven days later.

"The Derby is the race we target. It's a different race when you get to Randwick," Baker said.

Baker has won the Australian Derby on four occasions in the past 10 runnings - Nom Du Jeu in 2008, Dundeel in 2013, Mongolian Khan in 2015 and Jon Snow last year.

He has won the Tulloch Stakes four times too, with (Our) Palliser in 1987, The Bill in 1993, Harris Tweed in 2009 and Jon Snow last year. 

Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) Market - Neds

1 Ace High (11) $4.80
2 Vin De Dance (NZ) (3) $6.00
3 Age of Fire (15) $26
4 Cliff’s Edge (1) $7.50
5 Mongolianconqueror (NZ) (21) $15
6 Tangled (20) $71
7 Capital Gain (10) $51
8 D’Argento (9) $5.50
9 Villermont (4) $13
10 Kaonic (NZ) (17) $12
11 The Lord Mayor (NZ) (12) $26
12 Endowment (NZ) (19) $31
13 Mission Hill (8) $16
14 Main Stage (NZ) (14) $21
15 Furore (NZ) (6) $16
16 So You Win (7) $51
17 Condor (16) $51
18 Terwilliker (5) $101
19e Mongolian Marshal (NZ) (2) $14
20e Yuralla Boy (18) $101
21e Tangmere (NZ) (13) $61

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