It’s now or never for nine year old Bauer as the nine year old gets set for today’s Group 3 Geelong Cup over 2400m.
It’s the crunch event that will determine his Melbourne Cup chances and whether or not he’ll have the opportunity to make amends for the heart breaking 2008 Melbourne Cup defeat where he was beaten a lip by Viewed.
Any result in the top three will give him a chance at running on the first Tuesday in November but effectively it’s a race he needs to win to both guarantee himself a position and prove he’s a genuine hope.
It’s a wonder he’s even here to contest the Geelong Cup given where he was just a matter of weeks ago.
Bauer hadn’t run since September 2010 and by the owners admission the 2011 Melbourne Cup was the furthers thing from their minds as OTI Racing manager Terry Henderson explains.
“Two months ago he hadn’t had a run since this time last year, he went into a 2000m race ran well, he then stepped up to the 2800m which he won,” Henderson said.
“Everything went so well we decided to roll the dice.”
His one start so far in Australia (just his third run this prep) was very promising as he flew from the tail of the field to finish 6th in the Herbert Power Stakes.
Making the run more impressive was the fact he did it on a leaders bias track after getting back further than anticipated.
“It was unfortunate that he did get so far back, that and he probably didn’t get the best of luck down the side,” he said.
“We were delighted with that ran even though he didn’t get the result.”
Henderson admits that as a nine year old the runs do take their toll but he’s now returned to his very best.
“Took a couple of days to get over then was back on his feet and he was very bright,” he said.
They’ve got him primed for the Geelong Cup knowing there’s no point leaving anything left over because if they don’t win today they might not have a race to use it in.
“If we won today he’d certainly get a penalty of a kilo (and get into the Melbourne Cup),” he said.
“If he ran a place he’d still be there abouts but you’re really in the lap of the gods.
“We’re expecting to go really close, exciting to have the old guy back again.”