Trainer Bjorn Baker has a real soft spot for under rated stayer Fun Fact and while he has the favourite in Saturday’s Group 3 $160,000 TAB Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) with She’s Ideel he’s not ruling out the grey springing a surprise.
And it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.
Fun Fact, $15 with TAB on Friday, has met She’s Ideel ($3.40) four times and has a 3-1 scoreline against the mare, the latest clash in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes where he ran sixth and her seventh.
“He’s not to be underestimated and I think he is going as well as ever,’’ Baker said.
“He had a really good long slow build up and I think he looks great. He’s been a really good horse for the stable and he’s capable of producing a big run at times.”
The grey won the St Leger (2600m) back in the spring of last year and that race is shaping as a likely target again, though if he’s competitive on Saturday he would earn a shot at the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m).
She’s Ideel is the current TAB favourite for the Metropolitan at $6, Fun Fact is a $26 chance, and Baker said that race is very much the one he wants for the Sydney spring.
The six-year-old produced an eye-catching first-up effort in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m), finishing third behind Mo’unga and Verry Elleegant, and her seventh in the Chelmsford may have been a little better than it looked.
Sectional data showed that She’s Ideel clocked a last 600m of 34.59 and last 200m of 11.88, which were in the top five out of the race.
“I thought she was very good first-up, I thought second-up with a bit of rain on the day and drawn gate one I have to give her the benefit of the doubt,’’ Baker said.
“I thought she was actually good late and wasn’t beaten far for third.”
Baker said another inside gate could be problematic for She’s Ideel but is relying on Jason Collett getting her into the clear and able to wind up.
“She’s got the class edge and I do think she is still in great order,’’ he said.
“We just want her to run a good race and get up to 2400m for the Metrop at her next race.”
Kiss The Bride is just about ready to win according to Baker and he’s expecting the gelding to improve again in the Shoot Out Mile (1600m).
He was a $41 chance when he drew the outside second-up at Kembla Grange and charged into sixth beaten one length by Kordia, who he meets again on Saturday.
“I think he’s going really well, his first two runs have been excellent and a smaller field suits,’’ Baker said.
“He goes really well at Randwick and I think he is ready to run a big race.”
And Baker is realistic about the chances of Starspangled Rodeo first-up at an unsuitable trip in a very strong Heineken Handicap (1100m) but said it wouldn’t shock him to see a cheeky performance fresh.
– Racing NSW