Bjorn Baker rolling deep into The Hunter
Fresh off having two runners in this year’s $15 million The Everest, Warwick Farm-based trainer Bjorn Baker is targeting even more riches at the The Hunter meeting in Newcastle this weekend.
Baker saddles up no less than six runners, with stable favourite Overpass engaged in the $1 million feature.
The four-year-old entire wasn’t disgraced when a close-up sixth behind Giga Kick in The Everest, before finishing midfield in the $10 million Golden Eagle. The Vancouver progeny has come a long way since his lowly maiden win at Orange 18 months ago, and has a Group 2 Expressway Stakes victory on his resume.
Saturday’s task has been made a touch harder with Overpass drawing gate 18 before scratchings.
“Tricky gate, we’ve just got to see how the day unfolds,” Baker said.
“He has the ability to go forward or go back so we’ll have a good think about it, but he’s in great order.
“He still looks fantastic. It’s a tough race no doubt about it but there are no easy races.”
Baker has two two-year-olds engaged in the opening Max Lees Classic over 900m, and is leaning towards his Russian Revolution filly Line Of Law over Brazen Beau colt Wild Beauty. Both youngsters are at the races for the first time.
“She’s (Line Of Law) is a nice filly, trialed really well,” Baker said.
“She’s probably got a better gate (than stablemate Wild Beau) so that gives us a bit of confidence, but she’s definitely got ability and she’s very natural.
“First trial win at Randwick was very good and I know Rachel (King) likes her so looking forward to Saturday.”
Like Baker, Miss Madison is a Kiwi import who has raced very consistently since crossing the ditch. After failing at Group 3 level in her first local outing, the Astern four-year-old mare has had two wins and is yet to miss the top-four from her past eight starts.
“She’s going really well at the moment. She ran well in a tough race last time out against Waterford and company,” Baker said.
“It’s a bit of a tricky gate so we’ll just leave it to Rachel (King), but she’s in great order.”
Seven-year-old stalwart Fun Fact lines up in the $300,000 The Beauford over 2300m and Baker believes his gelding can make a good account for himself. The son of The Factor has done a great job for connections winning eight races and almost $1 million in earnings along the way.
“It’s a race that sets up alright for him, his best form is above 2000m and Jason Collett rides close to the minimum of 54.5kg,” Baker said.
“I think he’ll do his thing, he’ll lead and he gets on a firm track which he likes.”
Despite having only one win to his name, four-year-old Maurice’s Medad has been competing at the highest level finishing sixth in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes and seventh in a Group 1 ATC Derby. He gets his chance to post win number two on Saturday with the help of a good draw.
“From gate one he looks to get a great run,” Baker said.
“He’s definitely fitter for recent racing and back on top of the ground is key for him. We want him to nail the start on Saturday and try and lead if we can.”