By Ray Hickson
Bjorn Baker is considering throwing speed mappers a curve ball by having smart three-year-old Addictive Nature ridden just off the speed at Rosehill on Saturday.
The trainer is adamant Addictive Nature isn’t just a front-runner and is looking for a guide in the Group 2 $200,000 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) as to whether he’s a Golden Rose contender.
“There looks to be speed in there, in all his work and trials he has always sat off them and I don’t think he is one dimensional,’’ Baker said.
“Tim (Clark) should be able to put him where he wants from that gate, five of eight. I think he will be very competitive.’’
Addictive Nature led all the way to a narrow win over Assimilate, whose next run is the Golden Rose, to take out the Ming Dynasty at Rosehill on August 26.
Baker said the colt certainly hasn’t gone backwards and will assess his performance on Saturday, and that of the likes of Menari and Pariah in the Run To The Rose, as a pointer to his chances in the Group 1 on September 23.
Addictive Nature winning the Ming Dynasty at Rosehill – August 26
“On his work and how he looks I still believe the best is yet to come,’’ he said.
“It’s very much one step at a time but if he does go well you have the Golden Rose two weeks away.’’
Baker isn’t letting a tricky barrier dull his confidence in Bonny O’Reilly as she attempts to make it five from five at the Rosehill 1200m in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes.
The five-year-old, a winner of eight of her 12 starts, resumed with a tough win under 59.5kg last month and Baker said he’ll look to offset the alley (12) quickly.
“She has a fitness edge on her side, we’ll look to be positive from the gate and she has good gate speed so I’m pretty confident she will run well,’’ he said.
“For some reason I think she may have improved on what we saw last time.’’
The Warwick Farm trainer’s other two runners at Rosehill - Sir Plush and Positive Problems – are both looking for a change of fortune in their respective races.
Sir Plush had excuses when trapped wide two starts back before running fourth to Bonny O’Reilly and, a bit like Addictive Nature, Baker is considering changing up his racing pattern for the Fugen Handicap (1200m) after drawing barrier 13.
“I think he is going well but he needs a bit of luck and my initial thought is we will ride him for a bit of luck and ride him back,’’ he said.
“We’ll see how the day pans out before making a decision.’’
As for Positive Problems, Baker said there is no reason for her not to run well in the Schweppes Handicap (1500m) but he admits he’s been disappointed with her.
“I don’t know what went wrong last time. She’s drawn one and fit, up to 1500m should suit her so she’s not completely out of it,’’ he said.