Vinery sire Pluck (USA) is building momentum for the autumn carnivals with brilliant Melbourne colt Aspect and Kiwi classic candidate Mongolian Wolf.
Both horses have Group 1 assignments ahead on either side of the Tasman.
Aspect kicks off in the G3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield this Saturday after winning a jump-out at Flemington on January 20. “He’s pretty advanced and doesn’t take much work,” trainer Tony McEvoy explained. “All going well, he will go straight into the Blue Diamond after Saturday.”
The $1.50 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) is scheduled for February 25 and Aspect has been kept safe by bookmakers at $15.
Aspect won the G3 Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington in November and was put away, straightaway. “The big dances are in the autumn,” McEvoy said after that eye-catching debut. “He raced like a professional and went straight as a gun when he got to the front.”
A homebred for Peter Robinson & Jack Stott, his dam Innishbeg (Lonhro) is a half-sister to Doomben stakes winner Tina Melina.
In New Zealand, Pluck 3yo Mongolian Wolf won first-up at Arawa Park on January 18 and then overwhelmed older horses over 1600m at Pukekohe. He launched barnstorming finish from last on the corner to win eased down by Craig Grylls.
Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are juggling the campaigns of their classic team heading towards the Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 4 and he’s currently priced at $26 by the NZ TAB.
Mongolian Wolf’s final lead-up will be in the Avondale Guineas (2000m) on February 18.
“We’ve always thought he would run the Derby distance right out,” Forsman said. “He’s unbeaten since being gelded and he’s trained on perfect since that last win at Pukekohe.”
Mongolian Wolf is raced by Rider Horse Group President Mr Lang Lin and cost $200,000 at the 2015 NZB Ready To Run Sale. His dam Oomaroo (Tale Of The Cat) is an unraced half-sister to G2 Surround Stakes winner Thump (Red Ransom).
Pluck (More Than Ready) is a Top 10 sire on the Australian second-season premiership with 16 individual winners of 20 races and $571,120 in prizemoney.