Racing: Baker in rare air with fellow Kiwi trainer Waller as pair continue on upward trajectory

Bjorn Baker. Photo / Getty Images
Bjorn Baker. Photo / Getty Images

Bjorn Baker has made a bigger impact sooner in Sydney's training ranks than Chris Waller at the same stage of their careers.

Both men came from New Zealand with virtually no horses or owners but against all the odds they have been runaway successes.

Baker has confirmed his arrival as a new training force with a career-best season capped by a breakthrough Group 1 win with Music Magnate in the Doomben 10,000 on Saturday.

The Warwick Farm-based trainer has already prepared 113 winners during 2015-16, the first time he has broken the century-win barrier, he is sixth in the national trainers' premiership and his stable runners have earned just under $4.5 million in prizemoney.

What is even more remarkable is that Baker has achieved these results after only five years in Sydney ­racing.

Waller took eight years to win his first Group 1 race with Triple Honour in the 2008 Doncaster Handicap.

He passed the 100-win mark in a season for the first time in 2009-10.

Waller's star has gone into orbit since and he has taken his career tally of Group 1 wins to 62 to be equal 10th on the all-time list, including a phenomenal haul of 15 ­majors this season, and he has already secured a sixth consecutive Sydney trainers' premiership.

Waller had a double at Royal Randwick on Saturday with Rodrico and Elle Lou to take his tally of Sydney wins to 144 and remain on pace to break the training record of 167.5 wins he set in 2012-13.

McEVOY RIDE ON TUNE

Music Magnate's Doomben 10,000 win was aided by a ­patient Kerrin McEvoy ride.

The champion jockey again demonstrated his skills and sense of timing when he resisted the temptation to chase the tearaway leaders Two Blue , Hooked and Fell Swoop.

Fell Swoop (sixth), Hooked (seventh) and Two Blue (last) set a suicidal pace in front. They were the first three into the straight but finished well back in the nine-horse Doomben 10,000 field.

John Thompson, trainer of Hooked, gave journalists at Doomben one of the quotes of the year when he said after the race: "There were two Group 1s today, the race and the spray I just gave my jockey."

WELCOME BACK, KATHY

IT is good to see Kathy O'Hara making a sooner-than-expected comeback to race riding at Hawkesbury ­on Tuesday.

O'Hara has taken the one ride on the Kevin Berry-trained Move High in the Class Two Handicap (1800m) - less than two months after she shattered her collarbone when Single Gaze fell on the home turn in the ATC ­Australian Oaks at Randwick.

J-MAC HITS BLACK SPOT

James McDonald's bid to become the first jockey in a decade to ride 100 Sydney wins in a season has stalled after he did not ride one winner in the city this month.

His lone metropolitan success came at the Scone stand-alone meeting on Alucinari.

McDonald has been doing a lot of riding at the Queensland winter carnival and won on brilliant filly Ghisoni at Doomben last Saturday but his Sydney win tally now rests on 88.5 winners with two months of the season remaining.

With McDonald soon travel to England where he will ride Holler at Royal Ascot, time could be running out for him to pass the 100-win barrier in Sydney this season - an achievement that seemed a formality at the beginning of the month.

The great Darren Beadman was the last jockey to ride 100 Sydney winners in a season when he rode a record 164 winners in 2006-07.

- news.com.au

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