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Baker Won’t Cuddle Champagne Filly

By Brad Gray

Bjorn Baker recently brought up 100 winners for the season and the stable is showing no signs of slowing down as it heads into Saturday’s Randwick meeting with a team led by untapped filly Champagne Cuddles.

“She really impressed me when she won first-up and then she had to have a little fetlock chip out but I’m really happy with how she is going. Her work has been excellent and her trial was good. I’ve got a big opinion of her,” Baker said.

Debut win of Champagne Cuddles back in October

The two-year-old daughter of Not A Single Doubt only trialled once and has never seen a wet track but Baker says the filly will definitely take her place in the field.

“She will run as there are not too many other options for her so we really have to,” Baker said.

“You never quite know how she is going to get through it. She hasn’t had too much exposure so you never know but I’m hoping her class carries her through.

“We’ll take it one step at a time with her and we’ll see what she can do. It’s a valuable race in itself so if she can go well on Saturday we’ll have a think about what we do and where we go.”

In the Anderson Handicap (1200m) the Warwick Farm-based stable will be represented by Cadogan and Geneteau and although they finished at opposite ends of the field in their respective first-up assignments, Baker says the prospect of a heavy track plays into Geneteau’s hands.

“Cadogan was really good last time. I thought he went super. He is a horse that has always shown plenty of ability but the wet track is a bit of a concern for him. Geneteua was disappointing first-up but she is a filly that really does like wet tracks which brings her into the race.”

Cadogan was gelded prior to his Scone win where he produced a brilliant sprint under the guidance of Jason Collett, who maintains the ride, but Baker believes it was more the 1100m journey, as opposed to the snip, that saw him return to the winners’ circle.

“You live and learn. He probably just enjoys the shorter trips.”

Cadogan showed great acceleration at Scone

Vega backs up after a forgivable effort at Rosehill last week where he found early trouble and although he couldn’t be any fitter deep into a long campaign Baker has his reservations.

“He didn’t have a lot of luck last week. He has done plenty of racing and is rock-hard fit but once again, I’m not too sure if the wet track is a help. His form would suggest not but you’ve got to be in to win.”

With exciting mare Test The World likely to be saved for next week and Sir Plush already scratched due to his poor wet form, it leaves Gold Ambition to send Baker home a winner.

“He is first-up and might show a bit but generally he needs further.”

Meanwhile, Baker’s Group One-winning sprinter Music Magnate is currently spelling after struggling on wet tracks in his latest campaign.

“He mixed his form last time in but we have to be a bit forgiving. He likes a firm track and he hasn’t been able to get one. We may just give him a short break and get him ready for the Missile Stakes (August 5).

Check out the fields, form and replays for Randwick on Saturday

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