Baker Sending Overpass On Expressway To Bigger Things
Bjorn Baker wasn’t able to be at Rosehill to watch his emerging colt Overpass upset the Godolphin glamour horse Anamoe in the Group 2 $200,000 XXXX Expressway Stakes (1200m) so he just left it all to jockey Tim Clark.
And on a day when it was handy to be on the pace, especially in the chute starts, Clark produced one of his trademark front-running rides to pounce on the lead and win a race that Baker feels will open doors for the under-rated three-year-old.
While Anamoe lost no admirers for running third, reeling off a 33.29 for his last 600m, Clark took the race by the scruff of the neck from the start - much to Baker’s delight as he watched on from a friend’s function.
“It was a great ride by Tim. I gave him a bit of an open canvas. He dominated and dictated,’’ Baker said.
“He’s a fast horse, he has always shown speed. Belluci Babe (fourth) ran a great race too.”
Baker had made a relatively late decision to run Overpass in the Expressway after he barrier trialled only five days earlier but he’s always felt he was top class.
In the spring he was unplaced in all three starts but was only a couple of lengths off the likes of Paulele and Home Affairs and he’s clearly come back a better horse.
Overpass is the third colt in the past five years to win the Expressway, following Standout in 2020 and Trapeze Artist in 2018, and, after downing two Group 1 winners in Forbidden Love and Anamoe, Baker is happy enough now to dream big both in the short and long term.
He's considering the Newmarket Handicap but would also love to chase bigger cheques later in the year.
“You only have to look at the Roman Consul and Coolmore to know he is a top, top class horse,’’ he said.
“He has never been the greatest track worker. It is hard to get a line on him from that point of view. He’s a race day horse.
“I don’t run them out of their grades but I thought enough of him and decided we will have a crack and it’s paid off. He’s a superstar colt.
“I only take them half a step at the time, I’m always wary. I said to my team if he runs well today and he happens to win, it gives us the key to anywhere we want to go.
“There is plenty to think about. There is The Everest, Golden Eagle, there are so many options.”
Clark said while he’s just warming the saddle for his brother-in-law Josh Parr, who has been the colt’s regular rider, he took plenty of confident out of what he’s seen in his trials.
“We were positive today with the rail out,’’ he said.
“He’d had the two trials to be well and truly wound up and we used that to our advantage today.
“Josh has done all the work with him. Just the weight was a bit light for him. I was happy to fill in. He looks like he’s in for a good preparation.”
As for Anamoe, the Godolphin star simply gave away too much head start under the circumstances of the race but to finish less than a length from the winner says he’s come back in fine order.
He sweated up badly in the parade, and on arrival was quite cranky and flighty so he’s sure to take plenty of improvement out of the day.