Stable chasing another Derby win

Harry (Rory Hutchings) finishing strongly down the outer to win at Ellerslie last month. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Harry (Rory Hutchings) finishing strongly down the outer to win at Ellerslie last month. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have their sights set on another Derby tilt for the season.

The Cambridge trainers have already won the Gr. 1 TV3 NZ Derby and the Gr. 1 ATC Australian Derby with Mongolian Khan and are now concentrating on the Gr. 1 A$600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby at Doomben on June 6 with Harry.

A lightly tried son of Sir Percy, Harry will make his Australian debut in the Gr. 3 A$150,000 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) at Doomben on Saturday with top international jockey Zac Purton engaged.

Harry was flown to Brisbane last Sunday and has settled in well on the Gold Coast ahead of his final lead-up to the Queensland Derby.

“I think he can go well enough on Saturday to warrant a run in the Derby,” said Baker. “He lacks a bit of ring craft but he’s only three once and he deserves his shot.”

Harry has come a long way in a short time, having made his debut six weeks ago with a win over 1200 metres at New Plymouth. He also won second-up, over 1400 metres at Ellerslie, then ran on strongly for third behind Zedpak (also racing in Brisbane this weekend) and Illuminati over 1600 at Te Rapa.

“He looks like a horse that needs more ground,” said Baker. “I think he’ll stay on all right. He’s by Sir Percy, who won an Epsom Derby, and he’s out of a stakes-placed Almutawakel mare and they (Almutawakel’s progeny) stayed well. “

Wahid, winner of the NZ Derby for Allan Sharrock, was one of Almutawakel’s progeny.

Baker would dearly love to add the Queensland Derby to his impressive list of Australian Group One triumphs, which includes the Australian Derby three times (Nom du Jeu, Dundeel and Mongolian Khan, plus the Victorian Derby with Lion Tamer.

The Baker – Forsman stable will be chasing feature wins on both sides of the Tasman this weekend as its New Zealand representatives will include Get The Jive and Massa Lu in the Listed $50,000 Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie.

Matt Cameron has been aboard both two-year-olds in their recent wins and has opted to stay with Get That Jive, who was a strong winner at Te Awamutu last week. Opie Bosson has landed the ride on Massa Lu, who was runner-up on debut at Te Rapa then won at Avondale.

Massa Lu holds a nomination for the Gr. 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Doomben on Queensland Derby day and Baker says he would seriously consider making the trip with the son of Makfi if he wins on Saturday.