Trainer Bjorn Baker believes that Havana Rey is in the best condition of his career but is not sure the four-year-old is good enough to carry 60.5kg to victory in the July Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Baker has set the early season Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) on August 24 as the major Spring Racing Carnival goal for the King Cugat gelding and Baker said he is delighted with how he is progressing so far.
However, the July Sprint has drawn a hot field and Havana Rey will be forced to carry the largest weight of his career against a talented group of sprinters, like Youthful Jack, Griffon and Funtantes, in what will be a major challenge over 1200 metres.
“He is really well, he is probably a little bit more forward than he has been in the past,” Baker told Racing Ahead.
“The idea with him is to try and have a bit of a fitness edge when we get to those early 1400 metre, miles races, hence we are kicking him off early.
“It is a big ask for him with 60.5kg but in saying that he is going really well and I think he is a bit forward of where he has been.”
Baker clearly has a large opinion of Havana Rey and he is confident that the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) winner can add additional victories at Group level to his racing resume this spring.
“He has been a great horse for me, he was my first Saturday winner and helped put me on the map in Sydney,” Baker said.
“He has been a very special horse and I think the best is yet to come.”