Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are quietly confident Gasoline can deliver a Group 1 for Pluck (USA) in the Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Gasoline was beaten in a three-way finish behind Heroic Valour and Mongolian Falcon at Matamata last month and the stable believes he can turn the tables when they meet again this weekend.
“The result was disappointing but it was also encouraging because he did things wrong and it was only a narrow margin,” Forsman explained. “He was on and off the bit and only let down when the others ranged up near the line.”
Champion jockey Opie Bosson, who rode Gasoline to victory at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, replaces Danielle Johnson for the Group 1. “It was her first time on him at Matamata and it was a tricky race in a small field,” Forsman added. “He did everything right for Opie and we’re hoping that’s case again in a genuinely run race back at Ellerslie this Saturday.”
Gasoline (2c Pluck – Miguelita by Danehill) is owned by Todd Hartley, Lindsay de Souza, Doug Painter and Paul Vawdrey and they also race last-start G1 Futurity Stakes winner Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj).
Bookmakers have installed Karaka Million winner Xiong Feng a $3.50 favourite for the Diamond Stakes and Gasoline shares the second-line at $7 with Caorunn, Sassy N Smart and Mongolian Falcon.
Pluck colt Marrock makes his debut at Rosehill a half-hour before the Diamond Stakes. Trainer Mitch Newman has thrown him in at the deep end of the G2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) after a couple of placings in trials at Hawkesbury and Warwick Farm
Marrock is a younger half-brother to VOBIS Gold Eldorado winner Worth A Ransom (Red Ransom) and cost $75,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.