The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Bjorn Baker’s flying spring star Samadoubt proved his first-up Winx Stakes win was no fluke when absolutely flogging the $2 favourite Avilius to take out the Chelmsford Stakes 2019 at Randwick on Saturday.
The six-year-old son of Not A Single Doubt won the season’s opening Group 1 race as a $41 roughie in betting and was at generous odds again to beat Godolphin champ Avilius in the Group 2 $250,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).
Second-up over a mile however Samadoubt proved even more effective, setting himself up for a huge spring campaign with another upset feature race success.
“The great thing about coming to the races today there was zero pressure, just come here enjoy it after a couple of winners earlier in the day,” winning trainer Baker said.
“That is what we are here to do. He was pretty darn impressive.”
Ridden a treat by jockey Tim Clark, the last-start Winx Stakes champion had to burn a bit of energy early to cross from the wide barrier and lead.
Eventually the field, which featured a host of resuming stayers including last year’s Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Finche, found their positions in behind the front-running Samadoubt.
The favourite Avilius meanwhile was racing three wide the trip just worse than midfield.
Samadoubt travelled beautifully controlling the speed up front, rolling around the turn as jockey Kerrin McEvoy started to move up on Avilius and put the short-priced fancy into the race on the corner.
Avilius moved up looking to sustain a long run, but the free-rolling leader Samadoubt was full of running and at the 200m just continued to extend for his all-the-way win.
“Amazing,” Clark said post-win.
“He’s just gone to a new level this time in.
“He was a lot more comfortable today over the mile and drawing out. I was able to just cruise across in my own time.
“It took me to the first turn to get across but I was never worried. He relaxed well and just built up underneath me nicely
“Coming into the straight I asked him for an effort and nothing was going to run him down the way he let go
“He’s come back in terrific order and put his hand up for and turned into a weight for age horse.
“He’s put a couple of top performances together now.”
On the line, Samadoubt ($10) had over three lengths to spare on the beaten favourite Avilius ($2), while the Chris Waller-trained Street Cry mare Girl Tuesday ($5) finished in a photo for third ahead of stablemate Haripour ($51).
Samadoubt became the 13th consecutive Chelmsford Stakes winner to come off a lead-up run in the Warwick / Winx Stakes, and the first to do the double since the champion mare Winx herself in 2017.
Baker is now looking at next-up options for his impressive Chelmsford Stakes winner, who is not nominated for the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley next month.
Samadoubt does hold an entry for the Group 1 $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half, but is a $101 roughie in the all-in markets at Ladbrokes.com.au not having won over further than 2000m to date.
“He’s not nominated for the Cox Plate only the Caulfield Cup,” Baker said.
“I’m surprised we didn’t get a call for the Everest after her won first up.
“His work since his last win has been nothing less than sensational. Thanks to my great team at home. He’s never been better. He’s big and strong.
“Win lose or draw we’ve had a great preparation but we have options in Sydney.
“We’ll probably keep him at a mile.
“He’s an exciting prospect – don’t often say it about a six-year-old gelding.
“He’s been a phenomenal horse for me and Darby. He ran in a Breeders Plate.”
Mile options for the horse include the Group 1 $500,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) back at Randwick on September 21 and Melbourne’s Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12.
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