Vin De Dance can emulate Gingernuts a second time by proving New Zealand Derby form stands up to scrutiny among Australia’s leading three-year-olds.
The gelding has spent a fortnight in Sydney acclimatising and rain this week is no concern as he approaches the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on Saturday.
“It’s ideal for us,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said.
Rosehill was downgraded to heavy on Friday, conditions tailor made for Vin De Dance as he backs up from his New Zealand Derby (2400m) triumph at Ellerslie on March 3.
“You don’t know until you line up against the best of what’s around here, but if the Derby form does stack up he’s a good chance,” Forsman said
New Zealand-trained horses have won four of the past seven Rosehill Guineas.
Vin De Dance was a $6 chance with the TAB on Friday, while stablemate Mission Hill, who was sixth in the NZ Derby, was at $17 with another New Zealand visitor, Mongolianconqueror.
Forsman, who trains with Murray Baker, said their pair should also benefit from race fitness.
“A lot of the Australian horses are stepping up from the mile and we’ve been racing over a distance,” he said.
Cliff’s Edge and Terwilliker are the only local hopes to have raced over 2000m this preparation although favourite Ace High won the Victoria Derby in the spring.
While Forsman embraced the weather, compatriots Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards said a wet track would count against Age Of Fire ($26) and Mongolianconqueror ($17).
Autridge and Richards launched a successful raid with Gingernuts 12 months ago after he won the NZ Derby.
“Unfortunately these two don’t seem to enjoy the wet as much as Gingernuts did,” Richards said.
Mongolianconqueror was seventh in his only run on soft ground in the Avondale Guineas last month and despite Age Of Fire recording his three wins on wet tracks, Richards said the colt was more suited to firm footing.
Age Of Fire opened his Australian campaign with a seventh in the Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m) won by Kementari.
“We thought he was OK without getting overly excited against those really good colts at a mile. He’s bred to need 2000 metres and I think that’s what he’s looking for,” Richards said.