By Ray Hickson
Trainer Bjorn Baker will look to play to the strengths of promising two-year-old Hinchbeast and Group winning stayer Fun Fact in their respective assignments at Randwick on Saturday.
Both have targets up north next month and Baker said, particularly in Hinchbeast’s case, the duo’s biggest asset is their free running style.
Hinchbeast broke the field up as he led all the way on debut over 1100m at Rosehill on November 20 but was more conservatively ridden when he ran a close third behind Sancy over the same course two weeks ago.
The youngster clocked 29.09 for his first 500m first-up then six lengths slower running 30.04 (Punter's Intelligence) for the same section last time out.
Baker stopped short of saying the colt will replicate how the former panned out in the TAB Venue Mode Handicap (1200m) but said he will take some running down.
“We’ll look to be positive over the 1200m, he’s rock hard fit,’’ he said.
“He’s come through it well, he looks good, he has a good attitude.
“I thought he ran well last time, he’s still learning what it’s about. He’s still a bit of a big baby but he was strong back at the line so I think he will appreciate 1200m.’’
Hinchbeast has started $2.30 or shorter in his two starts to date, he’s a $5 chance with TAB and Baker is aware he needs a top two finish to secure a Magic Millions berth and, in his mind, warrant making the trip.
When asked for a best chance among his 10 runners at Randwick, Baker pointed to Fun Fact who is the $3.40 favourite in the Bisley Workwear Handicap (2000m).
The race was originally programmed to be 2110m but the switch from Warwick Farm to Randwick forced a slight reduction.
The grey went down fighting over 2000m at Rosehill two weeks ago and while he meets the winner Guise 0.5kg worse, with Nash Rawiller taking over from apprentice Samantha Clenton, Baker said he’s come on and there’ll be no excuses fitness wise.
“He likes to get out and do his own thing, he hasn’t got a great turn of foot so it’s more about stamina than sprint,’’ he said.
“I think he’s ready to peak and with Nash on there are a few things in his favour.
“It’s a slight come back in distance than what it would have been at Warwick Farm but he’s drawn one, we will look to be positive and I think he has improved with his last run.’’
Hinchbeast's debut win at Rosehill on November 20
Bjorn Baker’s comments on the remainder of his Randwick runners:
Edison (race 2, $5): “The distance is key, I think he’s just looking for that little bit further, (Kerrin) McEvoy on is a positive, he has a good gate and he came through last week really well.’’
Redouble (race 5, $8.50): “It’s a drop back in class and a couple of kilos off helps. He looks well now and he hasn’t looked so good the whole prep. If he got back to his Theo Marks form he would go close.’’
Sophiella: (race 6, $14): “She has an awkward gate but we will look to be positive and the blinkers go on. She has a lot less weight (7.5kg) than last start too which is a positive.’’
Missybeel (race 7, $34): “I think she is in good order, she’s definitely fit enough for a good run first-up. She’s not out of it.’’
Drachenfels (race 8, $19): “He’s actually got a good gate and his first-up run was excellent. He’s on the fresh side so we haven’t done a whole heap with him. He still has the ability to feature.’’
Bobby Dee (race 9, $8.50): “I think he has improved with that win and he looks good. He’s looking for a mile and probably even further now.’’
Spencer (race 9, $6): “Last start he went okay but drawn one is the key for him, he will be able to put himself right there.’’
Baanone (race 9, $13): “He was very unlucky not to win Friday a week ago, he‘s on a relatively quick back up but he is in good order. We will go back and ride him cold.’’