Derby trial for Soldier Field

Soldier Field will be trying to keep alive his Derby chances when competing tomorrow.

Soldier Field will be trying to keep alive his Derby chances when competing tomorrow.

Derby options for Cambridge galloper Soldier Field will become clearer after his next couple of starts.

The promising three-year-old is considered a genuine staying prospect by his trainer and part-owner Finbarr Leahy, who will head south with the Rip Van Winkle gelding for tomorrow’s Taranaki meeting.

Soldier Field will start in the Pukekura Motor Lodge Maiden and be ridden by Samantha Collett.

“There’s still a chance he could head to the Avondale Guineas,” said Leahy. “He’s a horse that really wants 2000 metres now and he will continue to improve.

“He’s just waiting for a mile and a half and if he doesn’t get to the New Zealand Derby, we’re harbouring thoughts of the Queensland Derby.”

Soldier Field was placed in two of his first three starts before he tailed the field home in the Listed Karaka Mile, although he wasn’t disgraced when finishing less than six and a half lengths off the winner Volpe Veloce.

“He’s probably been a bit unlucky not to have won a race by now and I thought he was pretty good last time against that field,” said Leahy.

“The penny hasn’t dropped with him yet and sometimes stepping a horse up in grade can help to get them focussed.

“With another six months on him I think this horse is going to go places.”

Leahy, who is unlikely to run stablemate Mystery Man at New Plymouth due to a wide gate, was also pleased with Cochise’s effort for third at Ellerslie last night.

“It was a great run,” he said. “He was only beaten a nose and a neck. He’s going to improve and once he gets to 2000 metres he’ll show his real ability.”

– NZ Racing Desk.