Rocket Spade eyes Derby double at Randwick

Kiwi gun Rocket Spade will head straight to next month’s Australian Derby as trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott chase a rare trans-Tasman double.

The son of Fastnet Rock scored a determined victory in Sunday’s NZ Derby at Ellerslie and will prepare in his home country to repeat the feat at Randwick on day one of The Championships on April 3.

The last horse to win the NZ-Australian Derby double was the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Mongolian Khan in 2015 – 29 years after Bonecrusher completed the feat.

O’Sullivan and Scott came to the decision on Tuesday to pursue the Derby after mulling over their options for Rocket Spade with connections.

Rocket Spade also holds nominations for the Rosehill Guineas, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Doncaster Mile but will be given a month to prepare for a Derby tilt.

“We will look at run in the Derby without another run,” co-trainer Andrew Scott said.

“He has had a wee bit of racing now and we should be able to keep him fit at home before sending him over.

“He has come through the run really good and we couldn’t be more pleased with how he handled the NZ Derby.”

Rocket Spade ($4.40) has survived the drift and taken out the 2021 Vodafone NZ Derby for @WexfordStables and @AndrewS44296836 thanks to a gun ride from @CraigGrylls. pic.twitter.com/pqZWGOssoE

Rocket Spade is the $8 equal favourite for the Australian Derby with TAB.com.au alongside Australian Guineas runner up Cherry Tortoni and Randwick Guineas runner up Mo’unga.

O’Sullivan and Scott plan to leave it until late to send Rocket Spade over for the Derby with the three-year-old likely to arrive in the week before the 2400m test.

NZ Derby placegetters Milford ($15) and Frontman ($21) are both expected to travel across to tackle the Sydney autumn.

Meanwhile, O’Sullivan and Scott are also hoping to target the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes with Force Of Will before looking towards the Australian Oaks.

The Power filly will line up in a 1600m event at Ellerslie this Saturday.

“If she runs well on Saturday she will be heading over to the Vinery,” Scott said.

“Depending on how she runs, if the performance warrants it she will head to the Oaks.”

Force Of Will is $11 for the Vinery Stud Stakes and $15 for the Australian Oaks.

Originally published asNZ gun to Rocket straight to the Derby

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