Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards are hoping history can repeat in Saturday’s Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).
The Matamata trainers produced Gingernuts to claim the Electrolux-sponsored feature 12 months ago, a performance that was the springboard to Group One successes in the New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
The Iffraaj gelding subsequently won the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) last spring before he returned to Australia, only to suffer a fractured pastern on the way to the start of the Gr.1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
The four-year-old is home spelling at Te Akau and the stable are now looking to his younger sibling Griffin to pick up the mantle.
Johnathan Parkes rode Gingernuts to victory in the Avondale Guineas a year ago and he has been entrusted with the mount on Griffin this weekend.
“He’ll be trying to spark him up like he did with his brother,” Richards said.
Griffin finished seventh last time out in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa where he had little luck in the running.
“He got stuck behind a bit of traffic and had trouble getting around a few slower ones,” Richards said.
Griffin is currently at $41 in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) market while stablemate Mongolianconqueror, who will be ridden by Michael McNab on Saturday, firmed to $8 following his close second in the Waikato Guineas.
“Both horses are really well and we expect them to run accordingly,” Richards said.
Derby riders for the pair have yet to be confirmed with the form of barn-mate Embellish, who arrived safely in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, the key factor.
Stable jockey Opie Bosson will ride the Savabeel colt in Saturday’s Gr.2 C.S. Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington with the Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on New Zealand Derby day also on his programme.
“We’ll just wait and see how things pan out in the next few weeks or so,” Richards said. – NZ Racing Desk.