Just as top jockey Willie Pike is renowned for bobbing up in the last race at Perth, Bjorn Baker has an uncanny knack for producing the winner of the final event on a Sydney Saturday program.
The Baker-trained Miss Jay Fox upstaged her more fancied rivals to wrap up the meeting at Randwick last weekend, and the Warwick Farm horseman was hoping for more of the same on Saturday with two runners in the Furphy Handicap (1000m).
Speedy filly Passeggiata and new stable addition American President line up for the stable, Baker quietly confident both can make their presence felt.
A first-up winner over Saturday’s course and distance, Passeggiata was beaten as an odds-on favourite when overhauled by Omni Man in midweek grade last start.
The Tulloch Lodge sprinter is again among her rivals at Randwick, but she does meet him 3.5 kilos better at the weights and Baker is hoping that will be enough to turn the tables.
“I thought she still went well last start. It’s hard to win all the time, it’s very competitive racing and I think the winner is a pretty smart horse too,” Baker said.
“She just wasn’t quite good enough last time and she meets Omni Man again so he’ll be hard to beat.
“But she is very well. She’s got gate one on Saturday and up to benchmark 78 grade she gets a bit of weight relief.
“I think she goes in as a pretty good chance.”
American President makes his debut for the stable in the same race, the four-year-old joining Baker as the winner of four of his 14 starts, and despite being a recent arrival, the four-year-old is well known to the trainer.
“Funnily enough, he’s the horse that Overpass just beat when he won his first race at Orange,” Baker said.
“It’s amazing to have him in the stable and I’m lucky to get a well-performed horse. His best form is probably with the cut in the track though, so that’s what we’ll be hoping for with him.
“But he knows what the game is about and from gate six, hopefully he can just sit off them and the key with him is that if he can relax, he’s a chance.”
– RAS NewsWire