The point about Humidor in today's $250,000 Livamol Classic at Hastings is it's difficult to find a negative around him.
Yes, he jumps from 53kg in handicap class to 57.5kg at weight-for-age, but let's be honest, this is a touch under the overall grade of horses we've seen in this race in the past 15 years.
If Humidor (No 9, R8) is going to make it as a weight-for-age horse - co-trainer Johno Benner believes he will - he should be winning today. He's unbeaten in two starts on rain-affected footing, unbeaten in two Hastings starts and will get his chance from a mid-field barrier.
Francaletta (No 6, R7) is worth taking the short odds for in the middle of the programme. If you doubt that go back and watch her previous win at the carnival. It was fabulous. Only bad luck can beat her.
Ringo (No 3, R5) has a good record fresh from a spell. He has not raced since February, which is a bit of a stretch, but he has had a barrier trial.
He has 59.5kg, but the track rating should suit him perfectly and although there are some smart sorts opposing him, he looks a good each-way chance.
Persuasive (No 8) is in career best form.
As we said in Onform yesterday, the way the track is racing, aka the track bias, will decide Race six, the Hawkes Bay Guineas. Outside of something going amiss, Ugo Foscolo (No 2) will be leading into the home straight or soon after and lodging a challenge will be the favourite Heroic Valour (No 1). What eventuates will be the highlight of the day.
Watch the previous races carefully to determine whether on-pace horses in the home straight have an advantage. If it does, Ugo Foscolo will also
have one. Wyndspelle (No 4) is a must for all multiple bets.
Profile (No 8, R9) is an improving mare. She will be fitter for her first-up Wanganui run and should be in good shape for this race. Lisa Latta's pair, Henree Winkler (No 3) and Master Platinum (No 4) look the dangers.
Rock On (No 10, R10) has drawn wide in the last, but if Leith Innes can find him a nice run he will appreciate the 1600m. He was finishing nicely at the end of 1400m last time.
Back the Murray Baker-Andrew Forsman pair Highlad (R3) and Eleonore (R6) at Flemington tomorrow and keep following them.
Back to Hastings and Baker believes Get That Jive will be at his best at distances past 1400m but says there's no reason why he can't win the Red Badge Spring Sprint today.
He was rapt with Get That Jive's first-up win at Hastings in the Rating 85 1400m race a fortnight ago and wasn't ruling out an Australian campaign for the Street Sense 4-year-old gelding after this weekend.
"He's been running in group races right through and he was only once out of the money last year. We're having a go because it's a listed race and it fits in with his programme - and it's good money as well."
Stakes-placed in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie as a 2-year-old and in the Great Northern, Waikato and Avondale Guineas in consecutive starts last season at three, Get That Jive finished eighth in this year's New Zealand Derby before his winter spell.
Resuming under Matthew Cameron, Get That Jive settled midfield before reeling in the leaders to score his second win from eight starts and ensure his return to stakes company.
"We'll just assess what he does after today but there's always Australia. I'm addicted to Australia."
Baker and training partner Andrew Forsman will produce seven runners at Hastings, among them Mime and Saint Emilion in the Livamol and Jon Snow in the Guineas.
Baker said Mime had progressed well since her second in the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings and he had few concerns with the prospect of a slow track.
Drawing barrier 18 has done Mime few favours. Saint Emilion, backing up from his fresh-up win in the greys' race at New Plymouth last Saturday, fared better with barrier two.
Jon Snow steps out for the first time on raceday for the season in the Guineas. "I wouldn't be lining him up if I didn't think he was capable of winning it. He goes pretty good, this horse. He's trialled well and he's fit, but whether he goes on a wet track, I'm just not 100 per cent sure." Additional reporting, NZ Racing Desk