In-form Sydney-based horseman Bjorn Baker is bullish over his chances of enjoying a maiden Group 1 win down under when he saddles-up Music Magnate in the 2016 Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane this weekend.
With stables at Warwick Farm, Baker prepares around 70 horses out of the base and this season has already trained 112 winners sitting fifth on the national trainer’s premiership rankings.
He has a notable winning strike rate of 20.8 percent, above that of Darren Weir (15.9%) and Chris Waller (14.9%), but is chasing that elusive Group 1 success.
Baker has the chance to take out his first elite level on Saturday at Doomben Racecourse with gun four-year-old Music Magnate to line-up in the $750,000 Group 1 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10,000 (1350m).
A total of 14 weight-for-age hopefuls are nominated for the latest Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival feature, but the field is set to be smaller with the John O’Shea-trained filly Ghisoni already a notable non-acceptor for the Godolphin stable.
Written Tycoon gelding Music Magnate will be Baker’s first Doomben 10,000 runner, the horse boasting his own impressive strike rate of five wins, four seconds and a third from 11 runs to date.
Only lightly-raced, the up-and-comer’s latest turf triumph was over 1200m when defeating Knoydart in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) in Sydney on April 16.
That first-up success followed on from a strong spring that ended with back-to-back 1400m wins at Rosehill and Randwick respectively in September and October in non-Black Type company.
Last time out Music Magnate raced at Scone on May 14 and ran a brave second under a length off the winner Clearly Innocent in the Listed Luskin Star Handicap (1300m).
He goes up from 57.5kg that run to 59kg at WFA in Saturday’s Group 1, but Baker believes the horse is ready for the test and the step up to 1350m.
“He is well set-up for Saturday,” Baker told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll be third-up going 1200m, 1300m to a tough 1350 metres and he can put himself in the race so I’m pretty bullish with him and I think he’ll run a really good race.
“He’s better with a sit and I think it will be a race where he can take a sit. I think he’s definitely better when he can stalk the pace and with Two Blue and a bit of other speed, he should get his chance.”
In the latest all-in Doomben 10,000 betting markets at bookmakers around the country, Music Magnate pays around $6.50 for the win.
Odds are firmly led by the Ciaron Maher-trained mare Azkadellia who was last seen winning the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) in early April at Randwick.
She tracks towards an Eagle Farm run on June 11 in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) where Maher believes the roomier track will be more to her liking than Doomben on Saturday.
Other notable Doomben 10,000 hopes include Matthew Dale’s recent Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) winner at the track Fell Swoop who is out to atone for a close fifth in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) from a fortnight back and the Chris Waller-trained Darley Classic winner from the spring Delectation who ran eighth in the same Group 1 lead-up over less meters.
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