Castlzeberg debuts at Caulfield

Exciting Kiwi import Castzleberg is set to make his much anticipated Australian debut for new trainer Danny O’Brien when he lines up in Saturday’s $100,000 Handicap (1800m) at Caulfield.

A last start placegetter in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby, O’Brien said should the free-rolling stayer perform to expectations at Caulfield he would likely back up in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 4.

"He’s been in my stable for about six weeks but it was just going to be a bit of a rush to get him up to Sydney for the Australian Derby (2400m) so we thought we’d give him a bit more time and get him ready for Adelaide which is also a bit of a softer race," O’Brien said.

"He’s has good residual fitness from New Zealand and after his run on Saturday he’ll be ready to go straight up to the 2500 metres in two weeks.

"Obviously it’s his first run for me and he’s dropping back in distance from 2400 metres but we still want to see him run well, if he’s going to be winning in South Australia he needs to be winning or going close on Saturday."

A dominant winner of the Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at Te Rapa in February, the filly Castlzeberg finished third behind in the Derby, Habibi, has since placed behind Norzita in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens and is currently the TAB favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick in Sydney.

Allocated the top weight of 60kgs, Castlzeberg will be partnered by in-form apprentice Katelyn Mallyon on Saturday with the son of Castledale meeting a full field of 16 runners and four emergencies that includes the likes of Gai Waterhouse’s King Of Olympia, the Robbie Laing-trained Subiaso as well as Bill and Symon Wilde’s Gold Medals.

Story by Ben Asgari, to view full Racing Victoria story click here 

Photo appears courtesy of New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing