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A day of contrast for Baker and Forsman at Flemington

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable experienced luck on both sides of the coin at Flemington on Saturday.

The pair saddled up their main Melbourne Spring carnival hopefuls in The Chosen One and Quick Thinker and came away from the day with mixed results.

Five-year-old entire The Chosen One produced a barnstorming finish to take out the Winning Edge Presentations Handicap (1700m) under the steadier of 61.5kgs however Quick Thinker found the going a lot tougher in the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), dropping out in the straight to finish near last.

Baker was philosophical about both performances as he plots a path towards the major Cup races in the coming months.

"It was a good win by The Chosen One as he had to carry a fair bit of weight," Baker said.

"He drew well so we decided to ride him a little handier and it was a very good run.

"Last year he was plagued by bad barriers so we wanted to take advantage of a good one this time.

"We knew we had a fit horse going into the race and he had trialled well but you never quite know when they have that amount of weight.

"It’s still early days yet but he has come back stronger for this campaign and that’s to be expected as he comes from a family that gets better with time."

Baker has The Chosen One entered for both the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) but is unsure whether he will make the field at Caulfield as he is currently sitting at 48th place on the order of entry.

"We’re looking at where we will go next with him (The Chosen One)," he said.

"The Underwood Stakes (Gr.1, 1800m) is an option although I’m not sure whether he is a true weight-for-age horse.

"If it’s not the Underwood then he will probably go to the JRA Cup (Gr.3, 2040m) at Moonee Valley.

"His main aim is the two Cups but he is well down the list in the Caulfield Cup so it will be interesting to see if he can make the field.

"Last year he ran in it (the Caulfield Cup) as he had won the Herbert Power (Gr.2, 2400m) which qualified him.

"We will have to see what happens but they do tend to drop away with some of those higher rated ones."

Should The Chosen One head to the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on September 26, Baker will be chasing a fifth win in the race, having been successful with The Phantom (1990), Lion Tamer (2011), It's A Dundeel (2013) and Bonneval (2017).

Meanwhile, Baker is prepared to forgive the effort of Quick Thinker, although he does admit the run was a bit of a head scratcher.

"He was disappointing as he was under pressure on the home turn," he said.

"He probably does need a shower of rain and they didn’t get enough of it on Saturday to help him.

"We’ll see what is around for him but he is qualified for both Cups so we will press on at this stage.

"I’m not sure if the track tickled him up a little bit but we will see how he pulls up and then look for his next assignment."

On the local scene, the stable won’t have a runner in the first Group One of the season, the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings this Saturday, however they will be represented by promising youngsters Bonita Aurelia in the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and Suffused in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m), two of the more interesting undercard events. 

- NZ Racing Desk

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