A crack­ing ef­fort for Baker sta­ble

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - MATT JONES LIVER­POOL CITY CUP

THE Bjorn Baker sta­ble may not have known too much about Crack Me Up be­fore yes­ter­day’s Group 3 but jockey Ja­son Col­lett had a fair idea of his abil­ity.

The four-year-old was trans­ferred to Baker from Liam Birch­ley who can’t race horses in NSW due to al­le­ga­tions in the Aquanita dop­ing scan­dal.

But the horse was cleared to run and Col­lett knew how good he was af­ter win­ning the Group 2 Vil­liers Stakes last sum­mer.

But even Col­lett couldn’t be­lieve how easy Crack Me Up did it in the fi­nal 50m when he beat favourite Care To Think by half a length.

“Gee, that was very soft,” Col­lett said. “He looked a mil­lion dol­lars and be­hind the bar­ri­ers he didn’t sweat up one bit. He went to the start lovely and I thought ‘oh we feel good here’.’’

Sta­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jack Bruce said the horse only ar­rived at Baker’s sta­bles shortly af­ter 5am on Thurs­day and turned up in “im­mac­u­late or­der”.

“He just kept him tick­ing over. He re­ally has a shine to his coat. He has turned up look­ing mag­nif­i­cent and raced ac­cord­ingly,” Bruce said.

Col­lett said he would be even bet­ter over a mile and The Cham­pi­onships awaits, but the sta­ble feels he’ll have at least one more run be­fore the Don­caster Mile, or even two, and go into the $3m race on a quick back-up.

“That was 1300m and he’s won a hard mile in the Vil­liers. He’ll get some weight for that but I can get down,” Col­lett said.

Egg Tart ran a slash­ing and slightly un­lucky third af­ter rat­tling home down the out­side.

Jockey Ker­rin McEvoy said the two-time Group 1 win­ner was back to her old self.

“It was a very good run,’’ he said. “Good to see her back with some nice ground, she’s fin­ished off very well.”

Favourite Care To Think had a tough run.

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