The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman training partnership set a new record for the most victories at stakes level in a New Zealand season when Quick Thinker took out the Listed Buffalo & Co Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The win by the So You Think colt was the 21st black-type winner for the season for the Cambridge duo who prepare him for well-known Australian-based syndicators OTI Racing.
Racing in OTI’s familiar gold and black striped colours, Quick Thinker did plenty of work early in the race to loop the field three-wide before settling outside the muddling speed set by Ranger.
Rider Matt Cameron had Quick Thinker travelling easily approaching the home turn before asking for an effort as the field straightened for the run home. Quick Thinker quickly burst to the front and maintained a solid gallop to the line to hold out Ranger, who fought back gallantly, with Rendition running on strongly for third.
Baker admitted he was keen on the colt’s chances prior to the race after he had taken plenty of benefit out of his debut run for second at Rotorua a week ago.
“He’s bred to be a staying horse and we were confident he would go well today at the mile,” he said.
“He might be a middle-distance horse in the spring where we might get him to Melbourne or something like that.”
The Baker/Forsman team have enjoyed a good run with OTI Racing owned horses having prepared Vin De Dance to win the 2018 Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
Cameron was full of praise for the effort when questioned after the race.
“He’s going to be a very very good horse,” he said.
“The plan wasn’t to go forward; it was just to see if he could settle somewhere and finish off.
“He pulled himself up (to the pace) and then we got a breather across the top and he was just too strong.
“It’s only his second start and his debut was more like a trial.
“The Baker and Forsman polish went on and that’s why they have such good three-year-olds as they burn around as two-year-olds, win these stakes races and then when they come out at three everything is so easy for them.” – NZ Racing Desk