Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman kicked-off their Australian spring in the best possible fashion on Saturday with Quick Thinker taking out the Gr.3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) at Rosehill and the champion trainers will turn their attention to Victoria later this week as their next wave of spring hopefuls step out for the first time.
“We have got three in Melbourne that flew over on Sunday morning,” Baker said.
“Long Jack races at Ballarat on Friday in a 1400m maiden and will be ridden by Damian Lane. He is a nice three-year-old that we think might stay a bit.
“He is out of a Monsun mare and Monsun was a great sire in Germany and a staying influence that has left a few Melbourne Cup winners.”
Like Quick Thinker, Long Jack is a son of So You Think, and the classic-looking colt placed twice at two, including a second in the Listed Futurity Stakes (1400m) behind stablemate Rhaegar.
That form was franked when Rhaegar closed well for fourth in the Ming Dynasty, despite not handling the rain-affected track.
Baker, who is set to fly to Melbourne on Wednesday, is also looking forward to the resumption of well-bred Savabeel four-year-old The Chosen One.
“He is running in the Feehan Stakes (Gr.2, 1600m) at weight-for-age at Moonee Valley on Saturday with the Damian Lane booked for him as well.”
The multiple Group Three winner is eyeing a tilt at the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Baker expects to get a better guide as to where he fits in after Saturday.
“We’ll just see what happens after Saturday. I know he is resuming, but you never know, the weight-for-age racing in Melbourne is very strong.
“There are plenty of options for a horse like him.”
The China Horse Club-owned Madison County is also in Melbourne and is likely to trial before commencing his campaign.
Meanwhile, the premiership-winning stable has plenty of arsenal still to fire with quality three-year-old filly Aretha trialling well when second at Cambridge on Tuesday behind Shoshone.
“She will head to the Gold Trail Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) and is coming up nicely,” Baker said.
The stable will be represented at Wanganui on Saturday by progressive three-year-olds Checkers and She's A Lady in the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m) and Listed The O'learys Fillies Stakes (1200m) respectively.
Other smart three-year-olds that are sure to make an impression from the Baker-Forsman barn this spring include Holy Mongolemperor, who closed in the fastest sectionals of the day when runner up at Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, in addition to one-win filly Birdsong, who is also held in good regard. – NZ Racing Desk