Rising Pluck 3yo Mongolian Wolf will be on trial for the Group 1 NZ Derby with two of his stablemates in the G2 Avondale Guineas (2000m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The trio are part of a ground-breaking team of five frontline contenders being prepared for the classic by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman. The NZ Derby (2400m) is set down for March 4 at Ellerslie.
“Mongolian Wolf, Highlad and Camino Rocoso will start in the Guineas,” Forsman said this week. “We’re very pleased with them all.”
The stable also has Mongolian Legend and Jon Snow on track for the NZ Derby after encouraging performances at Te Rapa last week.
Baker & Forsman are reaping the rewards of a successful year at the sales in 2015 and among their buys was Mongolian Wolf for the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Group. He cost $200,000 at the NZB Ready To Run Sale.
“He’s unbeaten since being gelded and he’s trained on perfectly since his last win at Pukekohe,” Forsman added. “The Plucks have got good temperaments and they’re doing everything right.”
Mongolian Wolf is the last of Pluck’s first-crop in training for the Cambridge-based partnership. His stablemates Pluck That and Gasoline were both sold to Hong Kong on the back of impressive starts to their careers in New Zealand.
The Oaks Stud is sweating on a start for its Pluck 3yo Wehadadeal from first emergency in the Avondale Guineas. He won at Te Rapa in December before chequered runs in both the Great Northern Guineas and Australis Cup Day Premier.
“The Plucks are doing well in Australia at the moment,” The Oaks manager Rick Williams said at Te Rapa. “He’s actually a sprinting sire but Wehadadeal comes from a real staying family.”
And in Australia, the Vinery sire’s 3yo filly Life On The Wire is a winner-in-waiting for trainer Scott Brunton following seconds against the colts in the LR Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) and LR Hobart Guineas (2100m). She has been freshened for another tough assignment against older mares in the LR Vamos Stakes (1400m) in Launceston this Sunday.