Trainer Bjorn Baker has confirmed that Unencumbered will press on to the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 after failing to fire in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens last weekend.
Unencumbered was caught wide in the early stages of the race and was never comfortable on the wet Rosehill Gardens track; failing to show the impressive turn of foot that he exhibited during his wins in the Group 3 Bruce McLachlan Stakes (1200m) and Magic Millions Classic (1200m).
Baker told Sky Racing HQ that Unencumbered took no harm from the race and said that he is confident that the son of Testa Rossa will return to his best form when he contests the Todman Stakes in three weeks.
“He is fine and we are still on track for the Todman in three weeks,” Baker said.
“I guessed we learnt a little bit, you don’t know until you try them, and he didn’t go that bad.
“He was up against some good horses and he didn’t have a trial so a lot of them had a fitness edge on him.
“I expect him come Todman Stakes time to be a fair bit sharper, on top of his game and going forward we will be hoping for a good track.”
Unencumbered gave Baker his largest win as a trainer when he took out the $2 million Magic Millions Classic at the Gold Coast earlier this year, but that prizemoney will be dwarfed if stablemate Twilight Royale is able to win the Inglis Guineas (1400m) at Scone on May 17.
Twilight Royale will collect a bonus cheque of $2.4 million for connections if she is successful in the Inglis Guineas, after previously winning the Inglis Nursery Stakes (1200m) and Inglis Premier (1200m), and Baker said that all efforts will be made to have the daughter of Testa Rossa peaking on May 17.
“She is coming along well and just coming up to her trial stage,” Baker said.
“We are really happy with the way that she is going and she is bang on target.
“Everything is aimed around Scone (Guineas) and we will be hoping to be third or fourth up into that race.
“The $2.4 million bonus is very exciting and it is great to have the opportunity to run for it.
“As long as we are there we are a chance.”