Derby target for Lord Arthur

Lord Arthur providing Cambridge jockey Jonathan Riddell with his third win of the day at Rotorua yesterday.

Murray Baker is keen to give impressive Rotorua winner Lord Arthur his chance to join his illustrious older sibling Bonneval as a three-year-old classic winner.

Horse of the year Bonneval won the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick at three and her Camelot half-brother Lord Arthur earned his shot at the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie in March with a win at Arawa Park yesterday.

“He’s a promising staying horse and he’s nominated for the Derby. We think he’ll be a major contender when the time comes,” said Baker, who trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman.

“He relaxes well and did that pretty well.”

Lord Arthur is raced by Peter Newsom, Mac Whitehouse and Tony Wales, a trio of friends who have had a host of smart gallopers over the years, both in Australia and New Zealand..

“He looks to have plenty of the family ability,” Forsman said.

Lord Arthur was ridden in his Rotorua win by Jonathan Riddell and he led home a Cambridge trifecta with Chiquitita, prepared by Shaune Ritchie, a gallant second ahead of the Sam Logan-trained Poker Queen.

Lord Arthur was a trials winner at Te Rapa last July when beating the talented Bobby Dazzler and he made ground late when beating home a couple in his debut on the same track the following month.

Freshened, he was given a trial at Te Aroha recently to prepare him for the Rotorua outing and he pleased his connections with his third.