Gingernuts adds to Kiwi record in Rosehill Guineas Sat, 18 Mar 2017
Gingernuts has made an immediate impression in Australia by becoming the fourth New Zealand-trained horse in seven years to win the Gr. 1 Rosehill Guineas.
The last-start New Zealand Derby winner made his Australian debut in today's 2000-metre race for three-year-olds at Rosehill and upstaged the locals in the heavy conditions to continue his rise.
Gingernuts ($6.50) defeated the $3 favourite Inference by two and a quarter lengths, joining Jimmy Choux (2011), It's A Dundeel (2013) and Volkstok'n'barrell (2015) as recent New Zealand-trained winners of the race.
A $44,000 late entry into the Australian Derby will be required for tthe Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained gelding, but Richards confirmed the intention to run in the 2400-metre classic at Randwick in two weeks, with Gingernuts now $4.60 favourite.
"He's going to be awfully hard to beat in a couple of weeks' time," Richards said.
Richards felt Gingernuts had kept improving since the NZ Derby (2400m) and the drop in distance today was countered by the testing conditions.
"It's a huge buzz. I'm really pleased for the team at home," Richards said. "David (Ellis) bought the horse at the ready to run sales and didn't pay a lot for him and we syndicated him amongst some clients of ours and they're having a whirlwind ride."
Gingernuts carries the tangerine and blue colours of Te Akau and Ellis is the managing owner of a syndicate which race the gelding. Some of the 42 were trackside wearing specially made caps to match the horse's colours.
"We flew over for the day. We've actually got to leave in 45 minutes," said Craig Saunders, one of a handful of owners who made a flying visit from Auckland.
"Most of us are booked to come over for the Derby in a couple of weeks. It was a little spur of the moment to come over today but we thought we're on a hell of a ride and it doesn't happen very often."
Jockey Opie Bosson settled Gingernuts back before making his run around the field from the 800 metres.
Gingernuts reeled in the leader Harper's Choice just inside the final 200 metres and despite tiring late, he had a comfortable margin over Inference on the line with So Si Bon ($20) another short half-head away third.
"He still wasn't 100 per cent happy in the ground but all the way up the straight he just had his ears pricked, looking around," Bosson said.
"He's a pretty good horse, and getting better. The way he's stepped up has just been incredible."