By Tony Megahey
Nowra’s TAB meeting on Sunday sees the oft racing scenario of one jockey’s misfortune resulting in prime opportunities for another.
The short suspension of Bjorn Baker’s South African talent Brandon Lerena has resulted in Winona Costin picking up live chances for the Warwick Farm stable among her full-book at the popular Shoalhaven track.
Costin combines with the prolific regional-winning stable with three emerging youngsters throughout the seven-race program.
Impressively bred Baker three-year-olds offer compelling trial and rising race credentials.
Costin links with her former boss Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott with promising NZ-bred Nowyunomi, favourite in race five for the Golden Slipper-winning team.
The So You Think four-year-old gelding started a 'white-hot' $1.40 breaking through at Hawkesbury, and is drawn ideally to take the next step.
He’s a typical stable on-pacer.
Meanwhile, Lerena who made an immediate impact in his first season with two dozen winners for Baker since relocating from Group success back home, and he won’t be a spectator for long.
Lerena pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Goulburn’s TAB meeting on Monday, considered relatively minor as he was suspended for just a week.
The current dire industry circumstances have resulted in area riding restrictions.
So the Kembla-based Costin is in high demand with her hour’s travel proximity to Nowra and she rides in all seven races.
“Brandon would have been on most of ours, only for the suspension, he’s cleared to ride again on Tuesday - he’s been great for us,” offered young Baker racing manager, Steve McLean.
Costin’s best for Baker is Corcra in the third event and she also rides Little Jerry (race one) and Unrestricted (race 4).
Corcra, a three-year-old Shamus Award gelding in the money at four of his five starts, hasn’t raced since November. Then he placed at Orange following a runaway maiden win at Canberra, ridden by Lerena.
“He’s resuming off two nice trials, drawn well and his Canberra maiden win was dominant,” McLean said. “Dollareuro (Eurozone) is also a progressive type, trialled up nicely, well-drawn and will appreciate the 1400m.”
But it doesn’t end there for team Baker.
Blazing Line (race 7), an impeccably-bred Fastnet Rock filly, has also been impressive winning successive trials at home unextended. She’s likely a big mover.
So too dual acceptor Mystery Trick, a three-year-old (Dundeel NZ) gelding, opposing Nowyunomi. He’s ideally placed back in country grade from strong provincial form.
The horse won at Kembla last prep, ridden by Lerena, was placed at Hawkesbury recently and will be fitter from a spell.
Significantly, after the Kembla success, Mystery Trick was rated promising enough to contest the Group 3-Ming Dynasty where he had specking at odds but was unplaced. Credible (race one) has also shown up in several trials. At present
Nowra is rated a soft 6 surface (after 12.5mls of overnight rain) with fine weather predicted, and drawing capacity fields.