Lion Tamer quite possibly holds the title for the most disappointing run of the spring carnival so far when he bombed out to second last in the Caulfield Stakes two weeks back.
Alcopop finished behind him and may also have a claim and so to December Draw in the Caulfield Cup, although he was found to have a genuine excuse in the form of a fractured leg.
No such excuse was on offer for Lion Tamer which went into the Caulfield Stakes as a clear favourite and was battling for favouritism in the Cox Plate as well.
He was coming off a convincing win in the Underwood Stake, a race where he put over a length on eventual Caulfield Cup champion Southern Speed.
In essence it was a complete anomaly and one which well and truly frightened his backers on the Cox Plate market.
There is one saving grace though, trainer Murray Baker is gambling that by putting the blinkers back on we’ll see a brand new horse on Saturday.
“They seem to make the difference, helps his concentration levels I think,” he said.
In fact he’s happy to just about write off that last run completely.
“He never got into the race at all, he fell out of the race, it was a leaders track and he got a long way back,” he said.
He worked this morning in partnership with Wall Street and Baker said he wasn’t overly flash, but then again he never is.
“I was happy with it, he just does enough and seemed to be travelling well at the finish,” he said.
Lion Tamer got no favours in the draw and will jump from gate 14 after emergencies come out but Baker hopes he’s good enough to overcome it.
“We’re very happy with him, just unfortunate about the draw but that’s racing,” he said.
“I think he ran well at the Valley last year, got beaten by Rekindled Interest in a hotly run race.”
Baker is currently still in New Zealand and will fly over later in the week but says he’s kept in close contact with jockey Hugh Bowman.
“He rang me and he was very happy with the gallop,” he said.