Cutadeel on fire for Derby

Leading Derby prospect Cutadeel (Opie Bosson) winning with a bit in reserve at Pukekohe today.

Opie Bosson was quick to give Cutadeel the thumbs up as a genuine Derby prospect just like his sire Dundeel after the smart three-year-old continued his winning streak at Pukekohe today.

Cutadeel is one of a group of promising stayers champion trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have set for the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2 and he has taken impressive steps toward the classic with wins in each of his last three starts, all with Bosson aboard.

“He’s a classy horse.  It was a pretty good effort coming back to the mile with 59.5 kilos against the older horses,” Bosson said. “He’s definitely a Derby horse.”

Cutadeel became the first winner for Dundeel, the Gr.1 AJC Derby victor, when scoring on debut at Tauranga 12 months ago and he has now had six starts for four wins and a fourth.

The only time he failed to pick up a cheque was when sixth to stablemate Madison County in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings last October.

He then stepped up to 1600m six weeks later with victory in Rating 65 company and followed up with a smart win in the Listed Barfoot & Thompson 3YO Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie last month before the drop back in trip today in the Rogers Racing Stables 1600.

He was taken back from his wide gate by Bosson to sit midfield and unwound strongly in the run home to win by three-quarters of a length without being over-exerted.

“Opie rode him a treat. That was a ten out of ten ride and while the margin wasn’t that big I think he had a little bit of horse left there, too,” Forsman said.

A joint $8 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds betting for the New Zealand Derby (2400m), Cutadeel will round off his preparation for the Gr.1 event in either the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) or Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).

“They are a week apart now, so that’s the problem, so Murray will work that out,” Forsman said.

“He will talk with the owners and they will figure out a path, but it will be one or the other, he wouldn’t need to run in both.