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Baker Stayer On Trial To Make His Marx In Spring

Trainer Bjorn Baker will have plenty of thinking to do about where to point emerging stayer Harpo Marx if he lives up to expectation and wins third-up at Randwick on Saturday.

The import has caught everyone’s eye with two slashing performances since his spell and Baker is using the Schweppes Handicap (2000m) to tell him what the future may hold and whether he could be a spring prospect.

Granted, the gelding is still in Benchmark 78 grade but he made plenty of progress during his summer and Baker is convinced there is more to come.

“I think he will reach higher level, if he goes well we might have to look at giving him a freshen up and look at targets in the spring,’’ he said.

“We’ll give it a bit of thought after the race where we go.”

Baker brought up his 50th city winner for the season during the week and is closing in on James Cummings, who holds second place (53), on the Sydney Trainers Premiership table.

He said Harpo Marx, $3 with TAB on Thursday, has come through his second-up fourth behind Steely over 1800m at Rosehill last weekend nicely and doesn’t fear another heavy track if it eventuates.

In that race he highlighted how well he’s come back by clocking a race best final 600m of 34.61 and the meeting’s fastest final 200m of 11.53 (Punter’s Intelligence).

“We’ve got to give him the opportunity to back up, his first two runs were excellent,’’ Baker said.

“I think he is better on top of the ground but one thing when it’s wet it does play into his stamina and he’s got stacks of stamina.

“The one negative with him is he lacks a bit of tactical speed at times so hopefully he can be close enough.”

Popular grey Frosty Rocks has pleased Baker since his return from a summer campaign that concluded with a close third to Brutality at Rosehill in January.

He was a first-up winner last preparation at 1300m and Baker expects the gelding, $5 with TAB on Thursday, to be competitive in the Heineken Handicap (1200m).

“He’s in really good order, we can’t knock him,’’ he said.

“I think he’s going better than ever so he’s not out of it at all. I think 1200m should suit him, I’d probably prefer to see him on an okay track (rather than heavy) but he will be prominent throughout.”


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