By Ray Hickson
It’s already been a career best season for Bjorn Baker and with a few weeks left in 2019-20 the Warwick Farm trainer is setting his sights on the prized third place in the Sydney Trainers Premiership.
Third is prized among some trainers because Chris Waller (132.5) and Godolphin under James Cummings (70) possess the firepower and numbers to have a mortgage on the top two spots.
Baker, fresh from a double on his home track midweek, takes another solid team to Rosehill on Saturday sitting on 53 city wins, more than double last season, and is just two shy of the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott partnership with six meetings remaining.
“It’s going to be hard to do, I think I’m running out of bullets but I’ll have a crack at it for sure,’’ Baker said.
“I’d be thrilled to run fourth, even top five is great, but to run in the top three would be even better.’’
Expect to see grey gelding Frosty Rocks revert to his front running ways in the Bowermans Commercial Furniture Handicap (1500m) after his defeat as a short priced favourite two weeks ago.
So far what we’ve learned about the three-year-old is he’s most effective when he leads, as he’s done in both victories this time in including an eight length rout two runs back.
“I think he probably is better let run, he’s a little bit hard to catch,’’ he said.
“On his day he is brilliant but he can be a bit of an enigma so hopefully he can run a nice race.
“The 1500m is a bit of a question mark so I think we won’t change too much with him. The better the track the more of a chance he’s got, I do think he is better on top of the ground.’’
Frosty Rocks was $4.40 favourite with TAB on Thursday and he’s taking on a very familiar looking field to that which turned up a fortnight ago.
Baker has a dual attack on the TAB Long May We Play Handicap (1500m) and he said it might not be the time to drop off Night Of Power despite his two defeats as favourite, while Edison backs up after opening last week’s Randwick meeting with a win.
The key to Night Of Power ($6.50) is getting him to settle and Baker also hopes an improving track will be more to his liking as well.
“His first-up run was really good but last time he was disappointing, there’s no hiding around that,’’ he said.
“His trackwork has been outstanding and on that alone you’d say he has to be a massive chance. So I am hopeful from a good gate he can have a soft run and just switch off a little more.
“Edison was good last week, once again the better the track the more chance he has. He got away with it last week but he is better on top of the ground.”
Edison wins at Randwick on July 4
Consistent sprinter Prime Candidate is out to protect an unbeaten second-up record in the Iron Jack Handicap (1200m) and Baker is enthusiastic about his chances.
The gelding drops in grade after running fourth behind Roheryn after sitting outside the leader when resuming two weeks.
“I thought he was very good first-up. His work since his last run has stepped up a level, I think he is a very good horse and he looks fantastic,’’ Baker said.
“We will roll forward and I don’t think the wide gate is a negative at all.’’
Of Baker’s other Rosehill runners he singled out He’s A Hotshot ($11) as a big improver in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) after he failed to handle the heavy conditions when beaten 15 lengths on resuming.
“He has a good gate and you have to forgive his first-up run, he was never comfortable and since then he has trialled well and his work has been good,’’ he said.