After sweating on getting a suitable flight from Sydney to Perth, Warwick Farm-based trainer Bjorn Baker can now look forward to 2013 Perth Cup Day with his interstate visitor Cantonese having arrived in WA on Friday morning ahead of their raid on the summer’s most popular race.
“He’s in Perth now and appears to have travelled over pretty well this morning,” Baker said.
The Redoute’s Choice five-year-old, previously prepared by John O’Shea until August of this year, has been a revelation for former New Zealand horseman Baker winning six of their nine starts for their new trainer.
Cantonese was most recently seen breaking their black type maiden at Rosehill last Saturday when they blew away their competition to beat home Iggi Pop by a blistering six lengths in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) when ridden by Jim Cassidy for the first time.
They will now look to step it up to Group company and take on a crack field of local stayers in the $500,000 Group 2 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot Racecourse on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2013 with connections to pay the late entry fee to get them into the race.
Cassidy will also travel over for the Perth Cup ride on Cantonese and Baker is looking forward to seeing what his horse and the hoop can produce.
“We’ll have some fun over there – win, lose or draw,” Baker said.
“It will be a good experience.”
While their form and ability is not to be questioned the one thing playing on Baker’s mind is how Cantonese will handle the opposite way of going.
“I guess the question mark will be going left-handed but he’s handled everything else we’ve put in front of him, so fingers crossed,” Baker said.
There are currently 32 horses nominated for the Perth Cup 2013, pre-field markets led by the Adam Durrant-trained Chester Road, the Carbine Club of WA Stakes winner looking to improve on their last start eighth in the Kingston Town Classic, and Justin Warwick’s in-form six-year-old Global Flirt who has won three of their past four starts over 2000 – 2200m.
Cantonese then occupies the third line of Perth Cup betting with the bookies taking no chances on the Eastern state galloper.
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