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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Noseda to test Gronkowski's Triple Crown credentials on US dirt

Gronkowski: heads to the US after Kempton win
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Gronkowski, winner of the Kempton leg of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge, will come off the circuit and bid to prove his credentials in one of the American warm-ups.

The colt earned 20 points to put himself joint-top in the contest to claim a spot in the first leg of the US Triple Crown at Churchill Downs, with only the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle on March 30 to come after the Patton Stakes at Dundalk on Friday night.

But his next start will be in the United States, with trainer Jeremy Noseda preferring to see if he can earn his place by his performance on dirt in one of two Grade 2 races on April 7.

Gronkowski, owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds and named after double Superbowl winner Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, has won three times on the all-weather, at Chelmsford, Newcastle and Kempton. 

Rob Gronkowski: New England Patriots tight end

Noseda said: "This plan was hatched after he won at Chelmsford last year. We've taken our two first little steps towards that and if Newcastle and Kempton worked out well then we would go to America for most probably the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, but the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct would also be on our horizon.

"The easy way to go would be to go to the next race in England but in trying to win the real race you have got to do a real preparation and get him on American dirt and get him to race on American dirt to know where you are.

"As much as there is an easy route there, if you really want to achieve the big prize the prep race on dirt in America is key.

"We have 20 points, a place in either of those races will get us enough points to get in. There's no point thinking you are legitimate, you have to find out beforehand and a proper Derby trial in America will tell us. If we are, the points won't be a problem."

Noseda added: "If that goes as planned, and I have great belief he will go on the dirt, the Kentucky Derby is where we will be."

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There is no point thinking you are legitimate, you have to find out beforehand and a proper Derby trial in America will tell us
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