Classy three-year-old Candelara has capped Day 1 of The Championships in the best way possible for trainer Bjorn Baker; displaying a keen turn of foot in the final straight at Randwick to take out the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m).
Jumping from the gates well, jockey Hugh Bowman settled Candelara in prime position on the heels of early leaders La Stupenda and Maastricht who set a reasonable pace over the back straight.
Pressing forward upon reaching the final turn, Bowman made his move around 600m from home; taking up the pace and opening too great a gap for a flying Rustic Melody and Maastricht who rounded out the minor places.
Bowman posted a total of two wins and three minor place finishes over the ten races on Day 1 of The Championships and was thrilled to cap the day with a win in the 2015 Adrian Knox Stakes.
“I came out on this filly and she was a late pick-up because the weights went up and most of the fillies in this race had 54kgs which is below my weight,” Bowman said.
“Bjorn gave her a very big push before the race; he said she loves these wet conditions.
“She may well back-up to be my Oaks ride now because Set Square’s gone back to Melbourne.
“To be honest it’s a pleasure to be here riding obviously and I think it was a wonderful call from everyone involved to keep the races today.”
Bjorn Baker’s father, Murray, saddled Mongolian Khan to success in the Group 1 Australian Derby earlier this afternoon, and the Warwick Farm-based trainer was pleased to post a win of his own via Candelara in the 2015 Adrian Knox Stakes.
“It’s great to come and win any race at Randwick, any race in Sydney let alone on Derby Day,” Baker said.
“I did mention before the race she’s rock-hard fit, she handles the wet track and her only previous win was here at Randwick on a slow, probably very similar track to this.
“Her work’s been very good in the last three weeks, she’s done a little bit of work with Mongolian Khan and although she’s not in his class her work’s been right up there with him.
“The only thing I can say is she’s rock-hard fit.”
The 2015 Australian Oaks final field is due to be completed and released by midday tomorrow (April 6th).
2015 Adrian Knox Stakes Results
|1||4||CANDELARA||Bjorn Baker||Hugh Bowman||–||6||56.5kg||$21|
|2||7||RUSTIC MELODY||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||2.3L||3||56.5kg||$9|
|3||3||MAASTRICHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.5L||12||56.5kg||$4.20EF|
|4||11||GUST OF WIND (NZ)||John Sargent||Zac Purton||5.3L||5||56.5kg||$18|
|5||10||ZARZALI||Bart & James Cummings||Craig Williams||6L||8||56.5kg||$5|
|6||2||WINE TALES||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||8.5L||1||58kg||$4.20EF|
|7||1||ABDUCTION||John O’Shea||James McDonald||10L||9||58kg||$5.50|
|8||8||CHOIX DE MAIA (NZ)||Pat Carey||Kerrin McEvoy||12.4L||11||56.5kg||$31|
|9||13||CENTEROFATTENTION||Gregory Hickman||Tim Clark||14.3L||7||56.5kg||$71|
|10||6||JOYFUL JOURNEY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||14.5L||10||56.5kg||$14|
|11||5||LADY MACAN||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||16.5L||2||56.5kg||$41|
|12||14||LA STUPENDA||Kerry Parker||Glen Boss||72.6L||4||56.5kg||$151|