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Bjorn Baker sprinter Malkovich dodges Group 1 Doomben 10,000 for Orentsia Stakes at Scone

Bjorn Baker has some strong entries for the two-day Scone carnival, resisting the temptation to send one of his sprinters for the Group 1 Doomben 10,000.

Trainer Bjorn Baker won’t be tempted to chase Group 1 glory and has speedy Malkovich staying for the Listed $140,000 Ortensia Stakes (1100m) at the Scone stand-alone meeting on Saturday.

Baker was considering sending Malkovich to Brisbane for the Doomben 10,000 but with doubts about the weather and likely venue for the $1m sprint he will target Scone instead.

“We were tempted to have a crack at the Doomben 10,000 but there is a lot of rain around in Brisbane and I just felt over 1200m it would be too tough for Malkovich,’’ Baker said.

“But the 1100m race (Ortensia Stakes) at Scone is ideal for this horse. He’s in great form and as long as we don’t get too much rain at Scone then he is going to be hard to catch.’’

Malkovich was run down late by Tycoonist on a heavy track in the Hawkesbury Rush last start with the latter also nominated for the Ortensia Stakes.

But Tycoonist is likely to start in the Listed $140,000 Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at the stand-alone meeting which gives Baker more reason to feel confident about Malkovich’s chances.

Godolphin’s boom sprinter Andermatt is the early TAB fixed odds favourite for the Ortensia Stakes at $4.50 ahead of Malkovich at $6.

But Andermatt is also among entries for the Luskin Star Stakes and is expected to contest that race if he stays in Scone rather than contest the Doomben 10,000.

The Scone stand-alone meeting doesn’t want for entries on Saturday with a bumper 291 nominations including 22 entries for both the Ortensia Stakes and Luskin Star Stakes.

Baker’s in-form mare Exotic Ruby and stablemate Bring The Ransom are among 27 nominations for the feature race, the Group 3 $200,000 Dark Jewel Classic (1400m).

Exotic Ruby defeated a similar line-up of mares in the Hawkesbury Crown last start and Baker said the mare has “trained on really well”.

“She’s a very underrated mare,’’ Baker said of Exotic Ruby.

“I couldn’t be happier with her since she won at Hawkesbury and she will run another big race at Scone.’’

Baker’s also Accapella Sun and Laroupe among entries for the Listed $140,000 Woodlands Stakes (1100m) and the trainer is sweating on Rupertaar gaining a start in the Listed $140,000 Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m).

The Scone Race Club has received more than 500 nominations for their two-day carnival with 247 entries for Friday’s Scone Cup meeting.

Baker has Soldier Of Love and Night Of Power among 31 nominations for the Listed $200,000 Scone Cup (1600m).

The likely field for the Scone Cup is shaping as one of the strongest on record and includes last Saturday’s The Coast winner Rustic Steel, and in-form gallopers like Bandersnatch (Tamworth Cup) and Kirwan’s Lane (Hawkesbury Gold Cup).

Berdibek, winner of the Rowley Mile and Wyong Gold Cup earlier this season, and 2018 Group 1 French 2000 Guineas hero Olmedo are joint topweights with 59kg for the Scone Cup.


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