Despite a Group 1 Perth nomination and the 2015 Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin in December being considered, New Zealand horseman Murray Baker is leaning towards sending his Emirates Stakes winner Turn Me Loose to the paddock for a well-deserved break.
A Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival revelation for the Cambridge-based Baker, four-year-old Iffraaj stallion Turn Me Loose capped off a stellar raid down under with a trio of wins for the stable.
At just his second start in Victoria the now $1.13 million earner won the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) carrying 60kg to victory a day after stablemate Mongolian Khan won the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
While a bout of colic ended Mongolian Khan’s campaign and ruled out a bid at the Spring Cups double in the Melbourne Cup, Turn Me Loose continued on to win twice more.
The first was at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day in the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) before his Flemington success last Saturday leading all-the-way in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Holding off Robert Smerdon’s fast finishing Myer Classic winning mare Politeness for the narrow Emirates win, Turn Me Loose was originally tipped to continue onto either Perth or head overseas for the Hong Kong International Race Day on December 12.
The horse is nominated for WA’s $1 million Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot Racecourse on December 5, while at Sha Tin Racecourse the obvious option would be the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (2000m).
Futures markets for the 2015 Kingston Town Classic at Ladbrokes.com.au, who pay Best Tote or Top Fluc on all races, are led by star Karnup-trained mare Delicacy ($4.80).
Grant Williams’ four-year-old daughter of Al Maher raced for the first time since taking out the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) – Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) double in Adelaide during May, last weekend when third to Black Heart Bart in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) back home.
Turn Me Loose was also high up the futures Kingston Town Classic odds, but after Baker hinted at a spell over another run this campaign he has since been removed from the ante-post markets.
“I’ve talked it over with the syndicate manager Lindsay de Souza and they’re happy to leave the final decision to me,” Baker told The Informant.
“The Hong Kong race is a month away and he would have to go into quarantine and line up without another race.
“That’s a big ask and so would a trip across to Perth be, so the spelling paddock back here looks the way to go. He’s right on top of his game and that’s a good way to be going for a bit of a break.”
The Australian contingent in Hong Kong next month is set to be strong with a host of top gallopers nominated across the four elite level features on the card.
Six Australian-trained horses are in the mix for the 2015 Hong Kong Mile including Chris Waller’s dual Doncaster Mile champion Kermadec.
Kermadec was last seen running in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in late October where he could only manage to run 13th of 14 runners behind winning stablemate Winx.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Hong Kong races in December, odds for which will be available down under through the county’s leading bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au!