By Ray Hickson
It won’t be too much longer before Bjorn Baker tests the limits of promising mare Test The World.
The lightly raced four-year-old kicks off her third racing preparation in the Goldners Horse Transport Handicap (1100m) and faces some solid off-season competition in the shape of boom sprinter Bon Amis and talented mares Secret Trail and In Times Of War.
Baker’s racing manager Jack Bruce said the next six months is expected to see Test The World show what she’s made of, despite having already won five of eight starts to date.
“Bjorn likes to take them through the grades, so we want to win Saturday races if we can and get up north for the summer carnival and freshen up for the Autumn,’’ he said.
“He's had her pegged as a black type mare but mentally she's not there yet. In terms of what she's shown us she can get there if she applies herself.’’
Test The World won four of her five starts in the winter months ending with a second at Randwick over 1400m in June.
Bruce said she still has a lot of improvement to come but she has had a jump out in addition to her two public trials and is expecting a forward showing from barrier three.
Test The World's Kembla Grange trial win - November 15
“Fitness wise she is well up to the mark and she will give a good account of herself,’’ he said.
“She's much bigger and stronger mare than when we saw her last, we gave her eight weeks off so that was a big help.
“She will get a good run in the race, camp in behind them. We'll be somewhat positive but I think we'll get a bit of cover to help her.’’
Trainer Chris Waller has gone back to the drawing board with In Times Of War, $4.40 TAB second favourite behind Bon Amis, by dropping her to the 1100m on the advice of jockey Tye Angland.
In Times Of War consistently produces the best 200m split from the 400m to the 200m in her races but hasn’t been able to get the timing right.
“We’ll ride her for one last crack at them,’’ Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.
“It was Tye’s suggestion, that’s why he keeps the ride, so if she doesn’t win it’s his fault not ours,’’ he added tongue in cheek.
The possibility of a genuine tempo could bring Secret Trail into the finish and co-trainer Paul Snowden said she’s done everything right ahead of her first-up run.
Secret Trail has finished runner-up in both trials, described as fitness trials by Snowden, and carris 57.5kg after the 2kg claim for Nick Heywood.
“She’s a lightly framed filly we have a good handle on what she needs and they are things to get her to the races,’’ Snowden said.
“It’s irrelevant if a horse wins by 10 or 12, we’re back there doing nothing.
“I’m very comfortable with how she trialled. She’s pretty smart in her own right, she gets back and does nothing early and can rattle off a sectional late.’’