Trainer Bjorn Baker believes the pressure is off his sprinter Music Magnate who is chasing back to back Group 1 wins in the $1.5m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Music Magnate was a surprise winner over Azkadellia in Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben two weeks ago but is a drifter in the betting for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Written Tycoon four year old’s price has lengthened from $6 to $9.50 while Azkadellia has been all the rage, firming in from $4 to be the $3.30 favourite.
“It is quite nice, the pressure is off,” Baker told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
While the pressure is off, Baker is very pleased with the way Music Magnate has progressed since his Doomben 10,000 win and is also happy with the barrier three.
“That’s a big help. I guess you never quite know how the new track is going to play but I would much rather draw in than out,” Baker said.
“He won really well last time, he was third up and I think if anything he may be better on Saturday.
“He is probably one of the few horses that has specifically been set for this race and at this stage everything seems to be on track.”
“His work on Tuesday was good. He is in there with a live chance.”
Baker can see a lot of positives for Music Magnate heading into the tough Winter Carnival 1400m feature sprint and said he can race on the speed or settle back in the pack if needed.
“At the end of the day it was a weight for age race last time and that form tends to hold up better than anything else,” Baker said.
“He can run on the speed, he can sit off, he has drawn ideally. He is fourth up, he is fit, he is well so I couldn’t be happier with him.”
The Stradbroke Handicap is turning into a tough affair and apart from Music Magnate and Azkadellia, there are three other runners under double figures.
Last start Group 1 winners Black Heart Bart ($5.50) and Malaguerra ($10), as well as the Chris Waller trained three year old Counterattack ($7), are all among the chances.
“They are all very good horses and you look through the field and you have to respect them all. But at the end of the day all I can worry about is my fella and I think he is bang on,” Baker said.
“We have Kerrin McEvoy on and he knows him. They don’t give away these races for sure.”
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart comes to Queensland after winning the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21 while Malaguerra is coming off a win in the Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14.
While Counterattack sat three wide before beating the three year olds in the Group 3 $125,000 Sky Racing Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 21
Market order for the Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.30 Azkadellia, $5.50 Black Heart Bart, $7 Counterattack, $9.50 Music Magnate, $10 Malaguerra, $12 Kaepernick, $13 Under The Louvre, $20 Delectation, $21 Takedown, Artlee, $26 Hooked, $31 Charlie Boy, $41 Precious Gem, $61 Charmed Harmony, $67 Big Money, $71 Sacred Star, $81 Two Blue, $101 The Virginian.