By Ray Hickson
Trainer Bjorn Baker says the reversal of fortunes front-running stayer Father’s Day has experienced in the past month is in no small part due to the work of jockey Rachel King.
The six-year-old charged through his grades just over a year ago then found himself in the wildnerness with eight unplaced runs on end before a breakthrough at the end of October.
Baker said Father’s Day, who chases a fifth career win in the Ranvet Handicap (2400m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, has impressed him with his resurgence since he's changed the horse's routine.
“He’s turned the corner properly,’’ Baker said.
“Rachel King has done a lot of work jumping him and I think that’s as much the key as anything.
“He’s always been a bit quirky and at times I’ve questioned how much he wants to do it.
“I think at the moment he’s definitely running in a rich vein of form and doing a very good job.”
Father’s Day, $2.70 with TAB on Tuesday, broke the field up in his Kensington win over 2400m last month then was a little more controlled in front when run down by Speycaster at Rosehill on November 11.
Baker said while the gelding rises 5kg on his gallant last start placing he feels he’s found an ideal race coming back a notch in grade.
“It was a very admirable run because he was under pressure on the corner but kept fighting so if he runs up to that he should be right there,’’ he said.
“He’s a genuine stayer, he likes to get out and do his own thing and Rachel rides those horses very well.
“I think he should be pretty competitive back to midweek grade.”
King and Baker combine with lightly raced three-year-old Joey D’Or in the Ghaiyyath First Yearlings Handicap (1400m) chasing a maiden victory after three placings on end this time in.
He struck a heavy track at Kembla Grange on November 7 and potentially bumped into a smart one when a beaten favourite behind The Hawkesbury over 1200m.
“He’s a nice horse, he’s been consistent and I think the 1400m should suit,’’ Baker said.
“He’s got a good gate so hopefully he can put himself right behind the speed.”
Meanwhile, Malkovich is preparing for his third shot at Kembla Grange’s feature sprint, the $300,000 The Warra (1000m), on Saturday.
Father's Day runs second at at Rosehill on November 11
The six-year-old was run down by Eleven Eleven in 2021 before finishing fifth behind Athelric a year ago and Baker said he’s shown his readiness with his latest trial win.
“He trialled really well last week,’’ he said.
“He was probably a little lacklustre for his first trial so I think he’s really come on since then. I’m very happy with him, he galloped really well (Tuesday) morning.”