Top trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman haven’t given up hope of slipping in the back door to the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) with Mongolian Marshal.
The High Chaparral gelding has been placed in two of his three starts and will be looking to break maiden status at Pukekohe on Sunday in the Fasttrack Insurance 1600.
“He’s had no luck at all,” Baker said. “I like him and hopefully he can do the job on Sunday. Opie (Bosson) is on him.”
Mongolian Marshal was hampered early when third on debut at Matamata then got held up and stormed home late for seventh over 1400 metres at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day before copping interference and running on late for fourth over 1600m at Te Rapa last start.
He is raced by the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry Ltd and Cambridge veterinarian Jonathan Hope. The Rider Horse group won the 2015 New Zealand Derby (2400m) with the Baker and Forsman-trained Mongolian Khan, who went on to also win the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) before retiring to stand at Windsor Park Stud.
Hinerangi is another of the seven runners for the Baker and Forsman stable on Sunday and rates a strong chance to complete a hat-trick of wins after scoring at Tauranga and Trentham.
“She’s a big, powerful mare and she won well at Trentham,” Baker said.