Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are likely to have a small, but select team of two target the Queensland carnival, with progressive three-year-olds Lord Arthur and Bobby Dee on a path towards the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
The pair were last seen in the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie a fortnight ago, where Lord Arthur stormed home from the rear of the field to land the spoils, while Bobby Dee finished a game third.
A son of Camelot, Lord Arthur is the fifth stakes winner out of the Zabeel mare Imposingly and is a half-brother to triple Group One winner Bonneval, in addition to Group winners Imposing Lass, Lady Cumquat and Full of Spirit.
Raced by his breeders Peter Newsom, Mac Whitehouse, and Tony Wales after the horse was passed in for $110,000 as a yearling, Lord Arthur looks a stayer of immense potential as he furnishes into his leggy frame.
“He was a horse that was always going to take a bit of time,” Baker said.
“After his first start he looked promising but then he was disappointing a wee bit. It was just immaturity.
“There are not too many similarities with Bonneval. He is a taller individual and he is strengthening up all the time, but he looks to have inherited some of the family ability.
“She (Imposingly) has been a great broodmare, I think she has left five Group winners and there aren’t many that can do that.”
Baker said Lord Arthur will run in the Gr.3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) on May 25 at Eagle Farm, the traditional lead-up to the Queensland Derby.
“It was a good win in the Championship Stakes and I think he really appreciated the good tempo of the race. He came from a long way back,” he said.
“He will probably run in the Grand Prix. It is good to have these races back at Eagle Farm, they all get a chance there on what is a roomy track.”
Travelling companion Bobby Dee is another three-year-old that Baker has a good opinion of and he will have one more hit-out before joining Lord Arthur on the flight to Queensland on May 12.
The son of Zed was fourth in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) before finishing a solid sixth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at the beginning of March.
“He will be on the same path but he his running at Te Rapa this weekend,” Baker said.
Bobby Dee will take on the older horses when contesting Saturday’s Rating 82 BCD Group 2200m with Craig Grylls to ride from barrier 12.
“The other day (in the Championship Stakes) it was his first run for nearly two months,” Baker said.
“I thought it was a good run the other day. He can run handy to the speed which can be an advantage.
“We did think about South Australia but it is a long way when you have to go on the road from Melbourne, so I think Queensland will suit these later maturing types.” – NZ Racing Desk