Test re­sults put Baker in a class of his own

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - RAY THOMAS

WHAT do Test The Word, Bonny O’Reilly, Your Way, Im­pos­ing Lass and Cham­pagne Cud­dles have in com­mon?

They are fil­lies and mares that have kept win­ning this sea­son — and all are trained by Bjorn Baker.

Test The World con­tin­ued her rise through the grades with her fourth con­sec­u­tive win in the ATC Mem­ber­ship Hand­i­cap (1200m) at Rose­hill Gar­dens yes­ter­day.

But even Baker was at a loss to ex­plain why he is hav­ing such a suc­cess­ful run with his fil­lies and mares.

“I don’t re­ally know why it is,’’ he said. “Test The World has won all four starts this prepa­ra­tion, Bonny O’Reilly won six straight, Im­pos­ing Lass has won five races in­clud­ing a Group 3, Your Way has won seven of her nine starts and Cham­pagne Cud­dles is un­beaten in two starts.

“It is su­per for the sta­ble when you have horses win­ning of­ten as it helps your strike rate. It is great for the own­ers and my staff.’’

In an ex­cit­ing fin­ish, Test The World ($2.60 favourite) fought off a se­ries of chal­lengers to score by a short-half­head from For­eign Af­fair ($10) with Up­scale ($5) a nose away third.

Less than a length cov­ered the first five mares over the line as Test The World sim­ply re­fused to sur­ren­der her lead.

“When she has been beaten, it is usu­ally when she has led and got ‘lost’ a bit,’’ Baker said.

“I thought it might be the case to­day. She was vul­ner­a­ble but this mare tries very hard and just wanted to win more than the oth­ers.’’ Jockey Jason Col­lett said Test The World’s win­ning se­quence is ev­i­dence of how well Baker places his horses.

“Bjorn isn’t one to push them too hard too soon,’’ Col­lett said. “He tries to take them through the grades and teaches them to win.

“They are ac­cu­mu­lat­ing prize­money go­ing through the grades. The prize­money is so good here that you can use the bench­mark sys­tem and place them to ad­van­tage which is what Bjorn does so well.’’

Col­lett praised Test The World’s courage as he felt the filly was go­ing to be run down near the line.

Baker said he may keep Test The World in train­ing for at least one more start this win­ter.

“They are only three-yearolds once and with the BOBS bonuses, she is earn­ing great money for her own­ers,’’ Baker said. “This filly has now earned over $200,000 for her con­nec­tions from just seven starts.’’

Test The World warded off the Mel­bourne raider, a de­ter­mined For­eign Af­fair, to pro­vide a sta­ble “quinella” of sorts.

“I’m good friends with For­eign Af­fair’s trainer Henry Dwyer,’’ Baker said.

“He sends his horses to my sta­ble when they come to Syd­ney and I of­ten do the same and stay with him when I take horses to Mel­bourne.

“We have had For­eign Af­fair with us this week and I ac­tu­ally sent a voice re­port to Henry this morn­ing telling him how well his mare had done at War­wick Farm, but I also said that Test The World was go­ing par­tic­u­larly well and would be very hard to beat!”

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