By Brad Gray
Sir Plush resumed with an emphatic victory first-up and Bjorn Baker has suggested that the five-year-old will be even better suited in the Schweppes Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill.
“He is in really good order and looks great. I had a good look at him this morning and I’m really looking forward to Saturday,” Baker said.
“If anything, the improved track will be on his side. He has drawn ideally and we’ve got Brenton Avdulla on who is riding really well.
“I was (surprised at the dominance of his first-up win) considering the wet track but his work going into that race was very impressive so although I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t think it was out of the question.”
Sir Plush winning first-up
Sir Plush, who is undefeated over 1100m, completed his main piece of work last Saturday but it was more maintenance than anything with Baker stating that the son of Pins is fit now second-up so he hasn’t had to do a whole lot with him.
“He has always been a horse that has shown a lot and if he can keep putting it all together I’d like to think he has got a few more wins in store.”
“I think at times I’ve been inclined to step him up a little bit too far but you live and learn with these horses.”
At the suggestion that Sir Plush could play a minor role in the early spring Baker was inclined to let Sir Plush do the talking on the track saying that it was “very much one step at a time.”
Mad Pirate will also step out for the stable at Rosehill in the Pro Rata ATC Membership On Sale Handicap (1400m). Among the owners of the Lucas Cranach two-year-old are State Of Origin representative James Maloney and Sky Racing’s Nic Ashman.
“It was good run on debut. We’re backing him up eight days later and he has to go to 1400m but he is bred to stay and if he runs well there is a maiden over 1550m a week and a half later.”
“I don’t know James but it is good to train a horse for him. I used to like him as a Warrior more than now but that’s okay,” New Zealand-born Baker joked.
Also keep an eye out for Songlike, if she makes the field as third emergency, at Newcastle on Saturday with Jean Van Overmeire, fresh of riding his first metropolitan winner on Samadoubt, booked for the ride on the speedy youngster.
“She is in good order and a filly that has shown ability. It’s a bit like a second trial being only 900m so whatever she does she will improve on but she’ll definitely be a chance,” Baker said.
“I’d like to think if she goes well we could look at city races down the track.”
Meanwhile, on the topic of talented fillies, Champagne Cuddles has returned to Baker’s Warwick Farm base after a quick freshen.
“She is back in the stable and we’re probably going to aim for the San Domenico over 1100m (on August 12). She is a very good filly and the form has worked out with Lipizzan winning. She is an exciting prospect.”