TJ Smith Stakes an Option for Winning Rupert in 2017

Trainer Bjorn Baker has revealed that Sydney’s major sprint races are likely to figure as long-range targets for Winning Rupert, after the classy three-year-old built on his unbeaten record in the Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m) over the weekend.

Winning Rupert will make his next appearance in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate on December 31st. Photo: Daniel Costello

Winning Rupert will make his next appearance in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate on December 31st. Photo: Daniel Costello

Winning Rupert had posted three impressive wins from as many starts leading into the Gold Edition Plate at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday and did his chances of another triumph no harm when jumping well and taking up the running.

Jogging clear of his rivals in the final straight to find the line close to six lengths ahead of closest rival Deep Image, Winning Rupert finished only 1.7.97 seconds outside the course record set by equine superstar Takeover Target a decade ago.

Set for appearances in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1300m) and Magic Millions 3.y.o Guineas (1400m) this time in, Baker told Racing Ahead that he believes that the horse has only taken benefit from his dominant win on Saturday.

“He’s getting better and better, but it was a big thrill,” Baker said.

“He’s shown a lot and it was nice to see him go really well again. We’ve still got two races to go in the preparation and most importantly, he’s come through well and is jumping out of his skin.

“I don’t think it’s taken too much out of him, often though when they do run that quick it takes more out of them than you think.

“You always have a little bit of a question mark, but he’ll be third and fourth up into his next two races so it sets up well for him, in terms of where we’re at.

“Believe it or not, he’s fairly relaxed when he’s in company so I think he’s more than a one-trick-pony.

Jeff Lloyd still thinks he’s got a bit of improvement. He’s been around for a long time and has ridden some good horses, so he’s a fairly good judge. I hope he’s right.”

Baker said that he is yet to confirm plans for the Written Tycoon colt beyond the Magic Millions meet on January 14th, but said that the major Autumn Carnival sprints in Sydney and the likeliest option.

“It’s very much one step at a time,” he said.

“We’ll just see, I guess there’s the Melbourne sprint races but I’d probably lean towards trying to keep him in Sydney because logistically, it’s just a lot easier that way.

“Races like The Galaxy and TJ Smith I’d have to consider here.”

Winning Rupert has firmed into $2.40 favouritism in Magic Millions 3.y.o Guineas betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia.

About The Author

Jared Timms

Jared graduated with a journalism degree in 2011. He is a keen sports fan and has enjoyed many accolades for his lively writing style and comprehensive coverage of major sporting events and horse racing. Today, you can find Jared cheering on his beloved Manchester City with a beer in hand.

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