It was only an off-season meeting, but Bjorn Baker admitted to feeling a few pre-race nerves before new recruit Caballus backed up his barrier trial performances with a promising win at Rosehill.
A $1 million yearling who was formerly raced by an ownership group that included Coolmore, he didn’t measure up to expectations last spring and was subsequently sold online where he was snapped up by syndicators Darby Racing for $315,000.
It could prove an astute buy, judging by the colt’s return in Saturday’s Toyota Forklifts Handicap (1100m).
Ridden patiently by Josh Parr, Caballus ($2.35 fav) tracked into the race coming to the corner before unleashing down the outside for a dominant 1-1/4 length win over Wallenda ($10) with another two lengths back to Soldier Of Rome ($4.80).
Baker said the performance was a relief given Caballus was highly regarded by his former connections when he started his racing career and had again garnered attention with his recent trial performances.
“It’s always a bit nerve-wracking,” Baker said.
“He has come with a bit of a profile, and I thought he was going pretty well.
“It was a good win and a nice ride by Josh.
“We are lucky to get such a ready-made horse.”
Baker is yet to map out a program for Caballus but if the three-year-old can continue his form, an eventual return to stakes racing is likely given he is still a young colt.
The trainer’s immediate focus is to space the horse’s runs and keep him to shorter trips.
“We will leave him at sprint (distances), there are plenty of options for a young horse like him,” Baker said.
Baker and Darby Racing are enjoying a tremendous season, highlighted by their Group 1 wins with exciting colt Ozzmosis in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington and Overpass in Perth’s Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).
– RAS NewsWire