Baker Hopeful Arapaho Backs Up Runaway Win At Rosehill

It’s arguably the biggest question of Saturday’s Rosehill meeting – can Arapaho reproduce a performance like his runaway win from two weeks ago?

Trainer Bjorn Baker (Pic: Bradley Photos).

Trainer Bjorn Baker admits he was taken aback by the 7.8 length margin, not so much the fact he won, the gelding put on his rivals and while he hopes for back-to-back wins naturally he stops short of being confident of repeating that dominance in the Petaluma Handicap (1800m).

And there’s more expectation this time around, he was $2.90 favourite with TAB on Thursday as opposed to his $20 starting price last start.

“I’m scratching my head a little bit,’’ Baker said.

“I thought he would run a good race, no doubt about it, but I didn’t expect him to quite do that.

“We’d love to see him run another good race then maybe we can look at some better races over the winter.”

Arapaho came to Baker in early 2021 with three wins and two placings from six starts in France, including a Listed success, so there were high hopes for him.

It’s fair to say his first two outings for the Warwick Farm trainer were promising but he didn’t trouble the semaphore board until his first-up third in the Muswellbrook Cup back in April.

Baker is excusing his Tamworth Cup failure and said his effort two starts ago, a close up fourth at Hawkesbury’s stand alone meeting, suggested he was on the way to finding his form.

“He has shown us a lot of ability and we thought he was going to be a topliner when he came out here,’’ Baker said.

“I think the Tamworth track was a bit hard but we backed him up eight days later and it was a good run.

“No doubt he appreciated the cut in the track last time and we can’t fault him in how he’s come through the run.

“It’s not an easy race, there’s some promising horses, so he definitely has to step up.”

Honest mare Lady Of Luxury goes on trial for a Queensland trip in the Farewell Nevesh Ramdhani Handicap (1400m) after Baker elected to step up in trip following her eye-catching first-up placing.

The four-year-old, $4.20 with TAB on Thursday, produced the meeting’s fastest last 600m of 35.66 and 200m of 12.06 (Punter’s Intelligence) when she finished third behind Mariamia over 1200m two weeks back.

“There was a bit of a debate between 1200m and 1400m but she’s going well and it’s back a grade from what she’s been in,’’ he said.

“Dylan Gibbons takes 3kg off and she has a good gate so that’s why we went that way.

“It was a very good run first-up, not many people missed it, and I think she is in great order.”

Lady Of Luxury is yet to win beyond 1300m but she has a second placing at 2000m to her credit.

Of Baker’s other Rosehill representatives, he said last start winner Night Of Power is in good shape for the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) and is hoping for a track into the soft range while he’s adamant stablemate Ita, also an acceptor for the Wellington Cup at Dubbo on Friday, has a Saturday win in her this preparation.

Dynamic Impact and He’s A Hotshot give Baker another chance to win the final race, the Canadian Club Handicap (1200m) and he said both horses are in good order and his confidence will increase if the track improves.

– Racing NSW

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