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Derby Tracker – Gouldian (John O’Shea)

by Dean Elliott.

My mouth is watering over the potential of this three year-old Godolphin runner.

gouldian-thumbAlthough he is only last start maiden winner, I can make a case to say that Gouldian is potentially the horse that profiles better than any other runner for the 2014 VRC Derby at this point in time.

(Street Cry – Blue Finch by Anabaa)

Gouldian Credentials

Slow and steady has been the story for Gouldian so far. In the care of the Snowden’s,  Gouldian had one quiet trial as a spring two year-old before returning in the Autumn for a three run program.

This culminating in April with a solid third over 1600m at Listed level behind Veuvelicious in the Fernhill, where he kept working solidly to the line.

A lovely 15 weeks break followed that (ideal time in the paddock for Derby prospects going from 2YO to 3YO) in which time he switched to John O’Shea’s care.

This is what I consider the perfect grounding for a Derby candidate.

Gouldian Performance

After a wet winter, Gouldian had a 5 week gap from his trial to first up run. Many of the Godolphin horses, and in fact Sydney trained horses in general, had a similar preparation due to the wet period at that time of year.

As expected, he improved dramatically from his first up run (4th in a 1400m Warwick Farm maiden) to his 2nd up run when a very unlucky 5th over 1550m at Canterbury, which has turned out to be a good form race with the likes of Duccio and Preferment running the quinella. Gouldian was stiff not to be in the finish, if not winning.

Third up over 1600m he finally broke the maiden status with a strong win over 1600m after working hard early and fighting on strongly. He was arguably ridden upside down on the pace, which just adds more merit to the win. This run showed Gouldian is ready to step up in distance and class (Preferment also ran well in this race, albeit quite greenly).

I ventured to Moonee Valley this morning and saw Gouldian match motors with Cox Plate contender Swaynesse in a gallop. In my opinion he actually went better than Swaynesse, although they weren’t out to break the clock.

I then followed him around for 15 minutes after the workout (pictured) and couldn’t have been more impressed.

Gouldian was feeling extremely good about himself after the gallop and looked to really bounce through his work. As a type, he is simply outstanding. Well grown, plenty of scope, good bone and strength from top to toe.

He’s one of those Street Cry powerhouse types. Fitness wise, Gouldian appears that Saturday’s Vase will top him off nicely and bring him to his peak.

That’s what you want in a Derby type – a powerful, well grown colt/gelding with a great constitution that is improving with each run.

Gouldian Pedigree

Gouldian is by Street Cry out of an Anabaa mare that won on debut at Moonee Valley at 1528m and went on to place up to 2025m in just four career starts.

This is a good, solid European family that can get over ground.

All roads – Pedigree, Performance and Type – point to him being at his best at 2000m and beyond.

Gouldian Final word

Exciting. I might have gone the early crow given he’s only won a maiden, but I’m very bullish about what Gouldian can deliver.

He’s an untapped, improving horse about to enter a pool of staying 3 year-olds in Melbourne that can be classified as an even bunch, with no stars. A big, big watch – and might I suggest a small wager in the Derby prior to the Vase on Saturday.

Gouldian is currently equal 11th pick in the VRC Derby at $15 with Centrebet.

Article written by Dean Elliott (BDM at William Hill and Horse Racing & Breeding enthusiast)

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