The race that confirmed It’s A Dundeel as a rising star will be used to assess the staying potential of another New Zealander on Saturday.
Trainer Andrew Campbell expects to know if Gobstopper is worthy of a Victoria Derby campaign after the inexperienced three-year-old runs in the Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill.
Gobstopper hasn’t managed a place in two starts but as the trainer of the gelding’s older brother Werther, Campbell has first-hand knowledge of the type of horse which can measure up to Australian racing.
Runner-up in the South Australian Derby and Queensland Derby last season, Werther will do his future racing in Hong Kong after being sold to Asian interests.
Campbell has given Gobstopper every chance to fill a stable void.
“He’s a lot stronger than Werther,” Campbell told Sky Sports Radio.
“Werther needed to be a late three-year-old before he showed his best but we’re hoping this fellow will front up as an early three-year-old.”
The Gloaming honour roll includes the 2012 winner It’s A Dundeel, the Murray Baker-trained colt which emerged from successive restricted-class victories to claim the Group Three middle-distance race at his fourth start.
It’s A Dundee went on to the Spring Champion Stakes and The Vase at Moonee Valley at his next two runs to earn Victoria Derby favouritism but could only to finish midfield at Flemington.
Campbell has designs on a similar progression for Gobstopper.
“The Victoria Derby is our main aim but we’ll just take it one step at a time. We’ve booked him on the flight home on Sunday if things don’t work out,” Campbell said.
Gobstopper arrived in Sydney on Monday night and he is one of 14 nominations for the Gloaming.
Jonathan Riddell, the New Zealand jockey who made a name for himself in Australia on the 2011 Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux, will ride Gobstopper.
Catkins has opened odds-on to make up for her defeat in last year’s Golden Pendant when beaten into second by Arabian Gold, a rival again on Saturday.
Looking above herself, Catkins surprised trainer Chris Waller with her first-up win in the Sheraco Stakes.