While the powerful Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman training partnership had cause for mass celebration after producing Vin De Dance to win the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) on Saturday, they may also have unleashed another Derby prospect in waiting on the day’s undercard at Ellerslie.
Earlier in the day visiting Australian apprentice Ben Allen guided promising three-year-old Mongolian Marshal to a comfortable victory over 1600m, in the process signalling the High Chaparral gelding is angling for a potential Derby tilt across the Tasman later in the season.
Forsman indicated the stable was considering its Australian options with the horse after watching him demolish a handy field with relative ease.
“We hope to get him to Sydney or perhaps Adelaide,” he said.
“We’ll just have to see as he has only raced over 1600m today but everything about him suggests he will get over more ground.
“It was set up for him today as they went very hard in the mid-stages which softened up those who did the work early on.
“It may have flattered him a little, but I think it was a handy enough field.”
Allen echoed Forsman’s sentiments as he commented on the performance.
“He got a beautiful track into the race behind his stablemate,” he said.
“When I popped him out I was a little wary of getting to the front too early, but he put them away quite nicely.
“He was a little green so he has got a lot of improvement in him.”
Allen sported the colours of the gelding’s part-owner, the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry (NZ) Ltd., who went agonisingly close to their second New Zealand Derby triumph when Mongolianconqueror was beaten by a nose in the day’s feature.
The group, headed by Mr Lang Lin, tasted Derby success in 2015 with the Baker & Forsman trained Mongolian Khan.