It’s often said you don’t know how good a horse is until they are beaten and trainer Bjorn Baker is hoping he doesn’t find out at Rosehill on Saturday as Shades Of Rose looks to keep her unbeaten record intact.
The three-year-old won her first two starts at Bathurst, including a track record in a 7-1/2 length win over 1100m, before rising to city grade with an all the way Canterbury win at the end of summer.
Baker is never one to over-rap horses but clearly has an opinion of Shades Of Rose.
“She’s always shown a lot. Her second run at Bathurst was a track record so she goes well,’’ Baker said.
“She’s going to go onto better things, that’s the hope anyway.”
Shades Of Rose, $2.80 with TAB on Thursday, warmed up for the rise to Saturday company with two trials highlighted by a runaway win over the talented Nasturtium at Rosehill on June 20.
There are a few things in her favour, according to Baker, in the Bisley Workwear Handicap (1100m) that give the trainer confidence she will be a major force first-up.
“She has speed from gate one, we’ll use that, and she is in good order,’’ he said.
“She gets through everything (track conditions) pretty well, she’s made good improvement throughout this prep.
“From her first to second trial she improved lengths and she’s ready to run a good race. She’s definitely ready to go 1100m first-up.”
The Catch has his second run for the Warwick Farm trainer in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m) and Baker feels he’s going to get a better guide on the horse than in his stable debut two weeks ago.
He tracked into the race, over 1800m won by Naval Seal, okay coming to the turn but didn’t finish it off. He drops 2kg with the claim for Tyler Schiller and draws the inside.
“It’s hard to know what to make of that run,’’ he said.
“It’s always hard to know where you’re at coming back from Brisbane. One thing about him he doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the track so if the rain comes he’s going to come into it a little bit.”
Baker has dual accepted with lightly raced three-year-old Divine Okay in the Ned Australian Whisky Handicap (1300m) and a Benchmark 64 at Newcastle on Saturday.
The gelding has won two of his three starts this preparation and is a horse Baker says has plenty of upside.
“It was a good win last time and he’s improved off that,’’ he said.
“Going up to 1300m suits, I think he will be able to be more in his comfort zone. He’s a nice big son of Capitalist and I think the has a future.”
– Racing NSW