Gunstock (NZ) Fires Bold Derby Audition

18 October 2021

Gunstock (NZ) dominates in the A$200,000 Group Three Caulfield Classic (2000m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli.

An impressive performance in Saturday’s A$200,000 Group Three Caulfield Classic (2000m) has given Gunstock (NZ) (Tavistock) the chance to add to a proud recent record for Karaka graduates and sons of Tavistock (NZ) in the prestigious Group One Victoria Derby (2500m). 

Gunstock was an $80,000 purchase by Ohukia Lodge from Cambridge Stud’s draft at Karaka 2020, and Saturday’s win improved his record to four starts for two wins, a placing and A$156,035 in stakes.

Ridden by Jye McNeil in Saturday’s three-year-old feature, Gunstock unleashed a powerful finish from midfield and roared to the lead with 200 metres remaining. With McNeil working hard to keep his mount’s mind on the job through the closing stages, Gunstock forged ahead and crossed the finish line with a margin of a length and three-quarters up his sleeve.

“He travelled really comfortably off a moderate tempo and it was just a matter of getting a bit of room at some stage, which we got at around the 500,” McNeil said. “In the straight when he put them away, I felt as though he had a little glance around, so there’s a bit of upside there.”

Gunstock’s trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr now have their sights set on the Derby at Flemington on October 30, which has been won by three Karaka graduates in the last seven years – Preferment (NZ) (Zabeel) in 2014, Tarzino (NZ) (Tavistock) in 2015 and Johnny Get Angry (NZ) (Tavistock) in 2020. The last two are both by the high-class Tavistock, who stood at Cambridge Stud until his death in 2019.

“I’ve always liked this horse – a beautiful colt, and hopefully we can get him to the Derby,” Kent Jnr said. “He’s got a huge stride, and Flemington will be his go.

"Today was the right time to put the blinkers on, because he's going to go up in distance a fair bit now to the Derby. Today we were going to have a look and see if they worked. They do work for this breed a lot.  He's a very laid-back customer. I saw him in the yard there and he was almost half-asleep.

“We were a bit unsure about the wet track coming into today. He worked and had trialled on soft and heavy ground, but we weren't so sure he loved it, and I think he'll be better on top of the ground."

Gunstock is a full-brother to The Irishman (NZ) (Tavistock), who was a $170,000 purchase at Karaka in 2019 and placed in Sydney’s Group Two Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) and Group Three Carbine Club Stakes (1600m).

Vendor Cambridge Stud
Purchaser Ohukia Lodge (Waikato)
Breeding Tavistock – Zeranti
Sale Lot 412, Karaka 2020 Book 1, $80,000
Bred bys B J Lindsay MNZM & Mrs J E A Lindsay