Top Kiwi trainer Murray Baker is hoping the forecast showers for Sydney won’t put a dampener on the Australian debut of his latest stable star Atlante in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) t Rosehill on Saturday.
Atlante is the winner of his last three starts in New Zealand and is having his first run back since winning the Group 1 NZ$400,000 Sothy’s 41st New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton Park on November 9.
Baker is looking for a good racing surface for the Fastnet Rock colt to show the Australian racing public how good he is as he heads towards the riches in the rest of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“He does need a firm track to show his best,” Baker told Racing Network.
“He’s not the same horse on a rain affected track.”
All Atlante’s three wins have been on good tracks so Baker will have to pray hard to keep the rain away with the Rosehill track currently rated a Dead 5 with more showers forecast.
Baker is expecting Atlante to be in the prizemoney after running second to Howmuchdoyouloveme in a 1030m Rosehill barrier trial on February 14 at his first public appearance in Sydney.
“He’s fit and healthy, I’m looking for a good run,” Baker said.
“He’ll run near the pace, he’s forward enough to run a good race.”
Atlante has accompanied Baker’s super star It’s A Dundeel and Australian Derby hopeful Show The World to Australia hoping that all three gallopers will feature prominently in the rich revamped ‘The Championships’ at Randwick on April 12 and April 19.
Baker has a high opinion of Atlante and has nominated the colt for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 12.
And Baker may test him over the 2000m of the Group 1 $500,000 Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill on March 29 or the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 19 if his form warrants it.
“I will certainly look at it (the Doncaster Mile) and he will certainly be nominated,” Baker said
“He does race like a horse that might get 2000 metres and we are hoping he will because that opens up the Rosehill Guineas and a couple of other good races.”
“He is a promising horse and we like the look of him
It’s A Dundeel is currently the second favourite for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes behind last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente while Show The World is on the fourth line of betting for the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12.
Atlante will be taking on fellow New Zealand three year old El Roca in the Hobartville Stakes and will be trying to turn the tables when they last met back in August last year at Taupo.
El Roca had the better of Atlante on that occasion in winning the 1000m Maiden with Baker’s colt running a handy third, but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.
The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained El Roca broke through for his first Australian victory with a two lengths win over Hobartville Stakes rivals Dissident and Romantic Touch in the Listed $125,000 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 15.
El Roca is a clear cut $2.80 favourite for the Hobartville Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au with Atlante the second pick at $5 just ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Woodbine at $6 and Eskimo Prince Stakes placegetters Dissident ($7.50) and Romantic Touch ($9.50).