Unencumbered has already had eight race starts as a two-year-old, but trainer Bjorn Baker believes that the talented colt is ready to peak in the 2014 Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Unencumbered made his racing debut in October last year with a win in the Sharp Plate and had five starts, including wins in the Wyong Magic Millions Classic (1100m) and the Group 3 B.J. McLachlan Stakes (1200m), before he took out the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 11.
The son of Testa Rossa was given a brief stint in the spelling paddock before returning to the races in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 1, where he failed to handle a wet track, and returned to a semblance of his best form with a second place finish behind Ghibellines in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22.
Baker told TVN this morning that Unencumbered had taken plenty of benefit out of his run in the Todman Stakes and said that he could not be happier with the condition of the two-year-old heading into the Group 1 event on Saturday.
“I think that he is still ready to peak as strange as it sounds,” Baker said.
“He has had a lot of racing, but I’ve said time and time again he has a great constitution and he thrives on work and he thrives on racing.
“Going into the Magic Millions, after he won the Bruce McLachlan, I thought he improved lengths in terms of fitness and I think that we are in the same position this time.
“He looks fitter, his work has been good and he would undoubtedly take a fair bit of improvement out of his last run.
“Going into the race I am really happy with us and I know he is going into the race in fantastic order.”
Unencumbered had his final piece of trackwork, in the lead-up to the Golden Slipper, at Warwick Farm this morning and Baker said that both he and jockey Craig Williams, who will maintain the ride on Unencumbered in the absence of Nathan Berry, were happy with the performance of the Magic Millions Classic winner.
“He worked very well and we are really happy with him,” Baker said.
“He is going into the race in as good an order as I have ever had him.
“Craig was keen to ride him and he came out from central Sydney and he was very happy.”
Unencumbered is currently available at 2014 Golden Slippers odds of $15; with Earthquake ($2.15) still a clear favourite in betting markets for the Group 1 event from Mossfun ($6.50) and Ghibellines ($10).