The in-form Bagman has forced trainer Chris Waller to rethink Spring Carnival plans and will head to Group 1 $400,000 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 4 via the Chelmsford Stakes with the eight year old.
Bagman is one of six Waller runners in the nine horse field of the weight for age Group 2 $175,000 Tattersalls Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday and is stepping up to Group 2 company for the first time.
Waller took over the preparation from newly appointed Godolphin trainer John O’Shea in May but his last two runs in Melbourne that has produced wins convinced the premier trainer to target the major staying race of the Sydney Spring Carnival.
Bagman’s form was gradually improving during the Winter months and he began to find his best when Waller switched him to his Flemington base and stepped him up in distance which produced a win over 2040m at Moonee Valley on August 2 followed by a win over 2000m at Caulfield on August 16.
“All of a sudden, after winning two races in Melbourne, he is being set for the Metropolitan,” Waller told AAP.
“He should be well weighted in that race.”
Bagman began his career in 2009 in Queensland before being transferred to Mark Kavanagh and then to Sam Kavanagh in Adelaide before ending up under the care of O’Shea at Randwick.
The Easy Rocking eight year old was first tested at Group level while under the care of Sam Kavanagh and was placed twice at Group 3 level in the 2012 Group 3 $125,000 Zaidee’s Rainbow Victoria Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield and the 2012 Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup (2000m) also at Caulfield.
Then while under the guidance of O’Shea, Bagman was able to run third to Skyerush in the Group 3 $125,000 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Bagman is dropping back in distance in the Chelmsford Stakes but it will be a good stepping stone as Waller heads the stayer towards the Metropolitan.
The market order for the Chelmsford Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Bagman as one of the outsiders of the field at $26.
The Team Hawkes trained Entirely Platinum heads the betting at $3.50 ahead of Waller’s two top fancies Royal Descent at $4 and Sacred Falls at $5.
Australian Derby winner Criterion shares the $5 line coming off a first up third to Tiger Tees in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 23.
Waller’s other runners are Hawkspur at $8 and Moriarty and Junoob both at $34 while the Joe Pride trained Laser Hawk is the rank outsider of the field at $51.
Bagman is currently a $41 chance for The Metropolitan.