By Ray Hickson
A hat-trick appears to await Bjorn Baker’s in-form galloper Edison at Kensington on Saturday but the trainer warns if there’s an upset it could come from within his own stable.
While Edison is entitled to be a short-priced favourite, he’s $2.30 with TAB, Baker says $11 chance Soldier Of Love is capable of a rebound as he strikes a wet track in the Maroubra Handicap (1550m).
Soldier Of Love boasts a heavy track win over Sydney Stakes hero Trumbull from earlier this year and Baker said his last start 13th of 14 was a total forgive run.
“He had a torrid run three deep outside the lead so he can go better on a wet track,’’ Baker said.
“He’s not out of it and on his day he’s a good horse. I think he’s looking good at home and if he’s somewhere near his best he can run well.”
Edison, however, is racing in career best form and has been a revelation in 2020 - he started the year with a 69 rating and if he makes it three straight on Saturday that rating will likely nudge 100.
Despite the ease of his last start Randwick win, his sixth from 17 starts, Baker said he was keen to give the four-year-old another run prior to the Magic Millions meeting in two weeks.
“At the end of the last prep he was a winner and he’s really continued on with it. He has a good bunch of owners who have been very patient,’’ Baker said.
“We’ve always had a good opinion of him, he’s got a great constitution now and he’s very relaxed. Because he’s relaxed he carries good condition and a month between runs is a bit much.”
Baker doesn’t see the 1550m as an issue for Edison, he’s already a winner on a heavy track over 1500m, and while up 3kg can only expect him to hold his form.
“He has a good racing style so he will put himself up there and if he’s strong at the finish we’ll go to the Magics with confidence,’’ he said.
Stayer Harpo Marx is also chasing a hat-trick in the Heineken Handicap (2400m).
Baker describes the imported son of Galileo and Nechita as probably the best bred horse he’s ever had anything to do with and is starting to get enthusiastic about his future.
Harpo Marx ($4 with TAB) broke through for his first Australian win, at ‘Winx odds’ of $1.16 at Wyong then backed it up with a strong staying performance over 2400m at Warwick Farm.
“The gelding definitely made a big change with him, his attitude is a lot better and is a pleasure to do anything with now,’’ Baker said.
“His win last time was really good and we’re putting the winkers on to sharpen him up a bit because at the end he was a bit casual.
Edison wins at Randwick on December 19
“He does switch off and relax well and once you get out over these trips that’s a positive.”
The Warwick Farm trainer would love to bring 2020 to a close with Turnstyle posting an overdue win in the Ranvet Handicap (1100m) but concedes she some good fortune would help her cause.
The mare has been around the placings in all five starts this campaign and drops 3.5kg on her third behind Shaik, after racing wide, on her home track just prior to Christmas.
“She’s been super consistent and she gets through a wet track pretty well,’’ Baker said.
“I think she goes in with a definite each-way chance. She probably needs a touch more luck, last time she had to do a bit of work, so hopefully that can come.”