New Zealand Derby placegetter Scorpz will join the kiwi assault on the Sydney autumn carnival with trainer Stephen Marsh pleased with how he has come through the Classic.
The Group Three winner maintained a strong gallop to the line to finish third in the solidly run NZ Derby (2400m) won by Sherwood Forest from Two Illicit last Saturday week.
“I was rapt with his Derby run and he came through it well,” Marsh told NZ Racing Desk.
“He has had six days out in the paddock and he put on some good weight and came back looking awesome for his little break.
“I was thinking originally that I would just go straight to the Australian Derby but he did so well in his week in the paddock that we will go to the Rosehill Guineas now for sure and then into the Derby.”
The winner of three of his 11 starts, the majority of Scorpz’s form is on top of the ground but his trainer believes he would handle a rain-affected surface as is often the case during the Sydney carnival.
“I think he probably would handle a softer surface,” Marsh said.
“If it was a heavy track in the Derby and we went five weeks between runs you might come up a little bit short, so we don’t want to chance anything and that is another reason for the Rosehill Guineas run.”
Opie Bosson will ride Scorpz in the Rosehill Guineas with a decision on a Derby rider pending.
Marsh is also confident the New Zealand three-year-old form will be more than competitive with Australia in what shapes as a strong crop on both sides of the Tasman.
“I think we have a good crop of three-year-olds here and they will stand right up to the Australians to be honest. Once we get over ground, Sherwood Forest and our horse are very strong staying horses and I think they’d be up to any Derby.”
New Zealanders Probabeel, Te Akau Shark and The Bostonian have won three of the four Group One races run in Sydney this year.
Randwick Guineas winner Shadow Hero heads the Australian Derby odds at $4.50 with Sherwood Forest an $8 chance with Two Illicit and NZ Derby fourth Dragon Leap at $11 and Scorpz $26.