Kiwi trainer Murray Baker is hoping Turn Me Loose can turn the tables on Black Heat Bart when they meet again in the Group 1 $500,000 italktravel Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Murray who trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman at Cambridge in New Zealand, is anticipating that Turn Me Loose is nearing his best and is back to his winning weight for Saturday.
“Black Heart Bart has won $3 million and, Winx apart, he’s the best 1400-metre horse in Australia,” Baker told racing.com.
“We just hope our bloke has improved enough – he’s a big horse and he takes a lot to get him fit for a sprinter, but he does like Caulfield and Kerrin McEvoy rides him very well.”
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy was aboard Turn Me Loose when he won the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival and was also on for his two 2017 Autumn Carnival runs.
Turn Me Loose resumed for the Autumn with a seventh to Malaguerra in the Group 2 $200,000 Browns Sawdust And Savings Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27 followed by a second to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 11.
Looking to the future for Turn Me Loose, Baker is eyeing off the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11 and a possible trip to Dubai to run in the Group 1 $US6m Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 25.
“He’s nominated for the Australian Cup, which is 2000m and I’ve always felt he will go past a mile and he’s also in the big race in Dubai, which is 1800m,” Baker said.
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart sits at the top of the market order for the Futurity Stakes at $1.85 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Turn Me Loose is the second pick at $6.50 just ahead of Palentino at $7,50.