Macdonald Confident of Success in 2014 SA Derby for Gamblin’ Guru

April 29th, 2014

Trainer Leon Macdonald is confident of success for Gamblin’ Guru in this weekend’s featured Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville after the talented three-year-old held on to win the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) this past Saturday.

Leon Macdonald is confident in the chances of Gamblin' Guru in the 2014 SA Derby

Leon Macdonald is confident in the chances of Gamblin' Guru in the 2014 SA Derby. Photo: Jenny Barnes

Breaking from the gates well, Gamblin’ Guru set a fast early pace and was noticeably drained upon finding the line; lucky to finish only a nose in the clear of Excites Zelady and Gravitational.

Despite missing the run after travelling to Sydney to saddle Go Indy Go to victory in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes, Macdonald told AAP he hopes the New Approach gelding will register a far-cleaner run in the SA Derby this weekend.

“When I got back I was told he was aggressive out of the gates and managed to pull the bit through his mouth” Macdonald said.

“He over-raced and pulled hard and had a bruised tongue afterwards so hopefully he can settle a bit better in the Derby”.

Having contested a particularly successful six race preparation this time in, which also included a shocking fall for jockey Clare Lindop in the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) on March 10th, Macdonald confirmed that while appearing in early nominations for the 2014 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on June 7th, the SA Derby is likely to cap Gamblin’ Guru’s season ahead of a busy spring.

“He will be entered for the Queensland Derby but my gut feeling is he may have had enough after Saturday” Macdonald said.

“He has had to overcome the interruptions to his preparation and that might be asking too much of him.”

Amassing an impressive record of four wins and five places from only fourteen competitive race starts to date, Gamblin’ Guru steadily built to the task over a consistent 2013 spring preparation; finishing second in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) before claiming the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) on October 23rd most notably.

Returning to the track in typically good form in 2014, the gelding out of Glory Guru won the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1800m) prior to his most recent triumph, and will in turn chase a maiden career hat-trick in the South Australian Derby this weekend.

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