In form stayer Cantonese has arrived in the west on a Perth Cup mission and trainer Bjorn Baker is looking forward to the experience of travelling to and racing in Western Australia.
The Warwick Farm trainer will pay a late entry fee to include his new staying find in the Group 2 $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1 and has confirmed that veteran jockey Jim Cassidy will make the trip to the west on New Year’s Day to continue his association with the five year old.
“While winning is important, racing is also about experiences. To have the chance to come to the other side of the country with a genuine hope in a race that has produced a Melbourne Cup winner, is amazing,” Baker said.
“Jim’s a special rider and it only makes this experience better. We’ll be fist pumping for the Pumper on race day.”
Baker has also confirmed that Cantonese had travelled over to the west in good shape and will commence light work tomorrow.
“He travelled over here a treat and will start work tomorrow,” Baker said.
“Hopefully we’ll get a couple of runs on the course proper before the race.”
“I guess the question mark will be going left-handed but he’s handled everything else we’ve put in front of him, so fingers crossed.”
Baker and connections could have taken the option to stay in Sydney and contest the Group 3 $125,000 Summer Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on December 26 after leading all of the way in a dominant six length victory with Cassidy on board in the Listed $100,000 Uncle Toby’s Christmas Cup (2400m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
But the chance of contesting a $500,000 race lured Baker to take the gamble and take his promising stayer across to Perth.
“We could have stayed home and run in the Summer Cup, but we thought this was a real challenge for the horse and we all like a good time anyway,” Baker said.
Since having his first run for the Baker stable on September 6, Cantonese has progressed through the classes claiming his sixth victory for the Warwick Farm trainer with his breathtaking Christmas Cup win.
Cantanese is on the third line of betting in the Perth Cup at $7.50 behind locals Chester Road, the, $5.50 favourite and Global Flirt at $6.50