Bjorn Baker believes consistent stayer Cantonese will not be hampered by a barrier 19 draw in Tuesday’s Group 2 $500,000 2013 Perth Cup at Ascot.
The Warwick Farm trainer is confident the five-year-old has the versatility to either push forward or take a sit depending on the tempo that is delivered in the New Year’s Day feature.
“I’m not bothered by the draw,” Baker told the West Australian.
“He can roll along and go forward. He’s pretty adaptable.”
Cantonese showed his ability to lead for the first time two weeks ago when he was ridden by Jim Cassidy to a six-length trouncing of his rivals in the Listed Christmas Cup at Rosehill.
Cassidy will make the trip to Perth to ride the son of Redoute’s Choice who will carry just 54kg.
Baker had originally planned to run Cantonese in the Summer Cup at Rosehill on Boxing Day but made the decision to take him to Perth given he was likely to attract a big weight in Sydney.
The winner of seven of 21 starts galloped at Ascot earlier this week giving Baker confidence he will handle the tight turns on race day next week.
“He seemed to handle the turns pretty well,” Baker said.
Since being transferred to Baker’s stable in August, Cantonese has been a picture of consistency, winning six of 10 starts and not finishing worse than fourth.
He is considered one of the top fancies for the Perth Cup along with Adam Durrant-trained pair Chester Road and Group 1 winner Mr Moet.
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