By Tony Megahey
If the odds are short for the masses of Greg Ryan and Bjorn Baker followers at Bathurst’s TAB meeting on Monday, they’re justified given their phenomenal strike rate at the Tyers Park track.
The champion regional rider combines with the Warwick Farm ace on three highly fancied emerging gallopers, while Chad Lever rides another Baker contender on a solid seven-race program.
Since Baker and Ryan joined forces for a spectacular five winners from eight races at Bathurst last November, the winners have been constant, including several trebles at the popular circuit. So the confidence is understandably high for Baker Racing manager Jack Bruce.
The stable opens with debut filly D’Oro Rain by Medaglia d’Oro (USA), well-schooled with five barrier trails into a Watermark 3YO Maiden (1108m). She resumed winning a Rosehill Gardens trial impressively three weeks ago, and then followed up with a second in a Royal Randwick hit-out.
“She’s come back a bigger, stronger and more mature filly-trialled up nicely and is well forward,” Bruce enthused. “A Country maiden is an ideal starting point. She’s drawn and she’s got the bonus of Greg.”
Consistent Tony’s Reward, a dual acceptor, contests a Harvest BM 58 (1200m) with a hefty impost: “While 62.5 kg is always a task, he’s got the size and frame to carry it and he’s super consistent for us. Both his wins have been at this track, his run at Goulburn was solid in better grade, so he’ll be highly competitive again.”
Garros, a Lope De Vega (Ire) four-year-old gelding will be ridden by Chad Lever in a Rural Bin Services Class I (1800m): “He’s always shown us above average ability-we rode him a bid upside down last start and he over-raced. He’ll be ridden colder this time to finish off and out to 1800m suits. He was really strong winning at 1200m at Mudgee and he closed off nicely last prep at 1400m.”
Ryan completes the Baker commitments on promising Baaed (NZ) in an Oak Creek Retirement Village Maiden (1208m): “He’s always shown us plenty of ability and while he appeared disappointing when we thought he could win on debut at Hawkesbury, there were excuses. He was hit by a couple of clogs in running and was put off balance. He’s progressed and from barrier one, Greg will give him every chance.”
Meanwhile, Bruce reports that stable star Music Magnate will barrier trial on October 2 in preparation for a Group sprint assignment over the Royal Randwick Spring Carnival.
“His last run at Randwick was super, showed he was getting right back to his best, the Dubai trip did take more out of him than we originally thought,” Bruce said. Their classy Group One, Stradbroke placegetter, Champagne Cuddles is favourite for the JHB Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.