G1 ambitions for up-and-coming stayer Harpo Marx
Up-and-coming stayer Harpo Marx has booked his spot on Bjorn Baker’s spring carnival team, ploughing through the rain-sodden conditions at Randwick for an impressive victory.
Despite the majority of earlier winners camping on the speed, Rachel King backed Harpo Marx’s class and settled the Darby Racing gelding at the tail of the field.
He looked to be making hard work of it approaching the corner but once he balanced for home, the $2.35 Neds favourite let loose with a resounding finish to breeze past his rivals and win Saturday’s Schweppes Handicap (2000m) by 1-3/4 lengths.
Savvy Legend ($9.50) held second with import Montabot ($31) showing improvement at his second Australian start to grab third.
Trainer Bjorn Baker said Harpo Marx would be given a short let-up and aimed towards the Group One Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Randwick in October before taking one look at King’s mud-splattered white silks and quickly shifting his attention to more domestic matters.
“We’ll have to get the Napisan out. They’re very important (colours) for the stable and we like them clean and crisp,” Baker said, only half-joking.
“Darby Racing, they’ve been an amazing support and I’ve had so much luck with them.
“He is definitely a stayer going places.”
King concurred and said Harpo Marx had come back bigger and better this campaign.
“I’d said to Bjorn after his first-up run, he’s gone to a whole new level this preparation and he’s definitely proving that now. He’s in flying form.”
Harpo Marx gave Baker a running double after Van Giz scored a determined win in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1100m) 35 minutes earlier.