Murray Baker has been understandably thrilled with Turn Me Loose this season and while conceding he faces a big task in overcoming a quality field in Saturday’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), is confident his runner is up to the mark.
Turn Me Loose more than announced himself to the Australian racing community via a glittering Spring Carnival preparation in 2015, and has returned this time for fourth in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and a win in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) last time out on February 27th.
Having interestingly never raced at the right-handed way of going, Baker told Racing Ahead the horse is extremely adaptable and should be able to perform to his best regardless of the direction or where he settles in the run in the George Ryder Stakes 2016.
“I haven’t really talked to Opie (Bosson, jockey) about it, but Hucklebuck might go to the front and I don’t know about Press Statement,” Baker said.
“He can run off pace, he did it in the Futurity and has run off the pace in numerous races in New Zealand. He can relax in behind them, it’s just that he has a high cruising speed when he goes to the front.
“He’s never raced right-handed which is extraordinary really, but he has trialled three times and won two of them.
“He’s done a lot of work on the right-handed track and we’re really happy with the way he goes around Warwick Farm.”
Baker has understandably singled out the Chris Waller-trained Winx has Turn Me Loose biggest stumbling block in the 2016 George Ryder Stakes.
“It’s a big ask because she’s a super horse, but you know racing!” Baker said.
“It’s got a lot of talent, they’re all good milers.”
Running sixth in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) in New Zealand at the beginning of his recent spring campaign, Turn Me Loose arrived in Australia for second in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) before comfortably winning the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 18th.
Continuing his winning form through the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m), the Iffraaj gelding returned to the paddock after winning the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on November 7th.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 George Ryder Stakes odds, for which Turn Me Loose can be taken at a quote of $7.50 for success.