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Baker Reunites Canasta 'Dream Team' To Spark Breakthrough

Trainer Bjorn Baker considers Josh Parr and Canasta as something of a dream team and is hopeful their reunion at Rosehill on Saturday can spark an overdue win.

Parr has had seven rides on the front-running galloper for three wins, the gelding’s last three, and two seconds, and he’ll be given a license to play catch me if you can in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m).

Canasta hasn’t won since January 30 last year, and has had 12 starts in the interim, and Baker wants to see a stronger gallop than in his fourth behind For Valour last weekend.

“We want to really run along. He’s rock hard fit, he likes Rosehill and he likes Josh Parr,’’ Baker said.

“It’s hard to get it exactly right (on a front runner) and the Kensington can be a funny track. We ran into a promising horse too last week.

“He’s been running well and he’s a fit horse, that’s what we’ll bring to the table.”

The six-year-old, $3.20 with TAB on Thursday, has finished runner-up at both his attempts at the Rosehill 1500m and has shown Baker he can be effective on the seven day back-up.

Baker said he seems to have come through last week’s race well and is expecting a strong showing.

Dynamic Impact has proven to be hit and miss in his career to date with 15 starts for five wins and no placings but the Warwick Farm trainer feels he’s found the perfect race in the Fujitsu General Handicap (1500m).

The gelding won at his first two starts since a spell and drops from a Benchmark 88 on Boxing Day, where he ran fourth behind Kirwan’s Lane, right back to a Benchmark 72 where he’ll carry 59.5kg after Jenny Duggan’s claim.

“I debated long and hard which race to run in, he was in Canasta’s race with (James) McDonald on,’’ Baker said.

“You look at his record it’s win or zero. I thought his first two wins were dynamic, albeit back in grade, then his last two runs have been probably a tad disappointing.

“I still thought he ran on well on Boxing Day and the form has worked out since so you can’t be too hard on him for that.”

Duggan will also ride the in-form Rule Of Law, who will chase a hat-trick for Baker in the ACY Securities Handicap (1100m).

While drawn the outside Baker said the four-year-old has the speed to offset it and given he won first-up on a soft 7 the track doesn’t concern him.

“He’s a promising horse, he’s always shown ability so I was lucky to get a ready made horse,’’ he said.

“He’s a fast horse and he’s got through a wet track okay. His work has been good, he’s fit and third-up so if it gets a bit demanding he has the fitness there.”

Don’t be surprised if Matowatakpe runs a cheeky race first-up in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) while Baker said stablemate Bring The Ransom should improve on her fresh run but may be a next time proposition.

Matowatakpe won three of his seven starts last time in and baker likes the sharpness of his latest trial.

“I‘ve been thrilled with him, he’s come back the same horse he was last preparation,’’ he said.

“He‘s got a good gate and I don’t think he’s out of it. It might be short of his best but he is in really good order.”

Bring The Ransom has a curious statistic against her, in that she’s yet to be placed in eight starts at Rosehill, but Baker said regardless of that she will lift on her last placing when resuming a month ago.

“She often takes a couple of runs to get into her sweet spot so I think she’ll be better over 1400m next time out. On her day she’s a good mare,’’ he said.


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