Test results put Baker in a class of his own
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!”