Racing: Murray Baker right up with play

By Mike Dillon

Coldplay strides past Ronchi to win the Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo / Trish Dunell
Coldplay strides past Ronchi to win the Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday. Photo / Trish Dunell

Well, Murray Baker was right. St Emilion and Mime, on paper at least looked the stable's best chances in Saturday's $70,000 Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie, but Baker preferred Coldplay.

We now see why. Coldplay came with an irresistible finishing burst to run down a gallant Ronchi to confirm the talent Baker and training partner Andrew Forsman knew she had.

"She was always going to strengthen from a 3-year-old to a 4-year-old," said Baker yesterday, "and her form this time in has shown that."

It's now two wins from as many starts this preparation for Coldplay and the way she has won both races there is plenty in store. The Cal Isuza Stakes at Te Rapa is one target Baker and Forsman have.

Ronchi was ridden hard from the barrier to stay on the pace and fought bravely, setting himself up for a very profitable holiday racing period.

At this time of year everyone is looking at the 3-year-olds for staying potential, particularly Vodafone Derby ideas.

Top Prospect and Barcelo perfectly fitted into the that mould with their 1-2 result in the $50,000 Trevor Eagle Memorial over 1500m.

From breeding and what we'd previously seen of Top Prospect, 2000m might have been the top end of an expected stamina index, but trainer Richard Collett and his daughter, Alysha, who rode Top Prosect, are adamant the horse is a natural stayer, despite being by Swiss Ace.

"The further he goes the better he will be," said Alysha Collett, who rode the athletic 3-year-old like he was the best in the race.

That is not discounting the performance of second-placed Barcelo. He was a shade awkward out of the gates and in mid-field he settled probably a place or two further back than expected. Shaun McKay found him a gap in the home straight, but when through it Top Prospect had already established his winning break.

The way Barcelo finished off the final 200m left little doubt he will get better as distances increase, as you'd expect from a young horse bred from a Zabeel mare. Creative Genius, in finishing third, looked a big improver.

Other thoughts from Ellerslie: Congratulations to Stephen Marsh for his 1-2 result in the sprint with Ruud Not To and Rocanto. The stable's third runner Barbaric finished not far away in seventh, but he has never been a right-handed horse.

Killarney is one to follow. From mid-field he always had his opposition in sight and picked them op easily late. Keep in mid that was just his third visit to the races.

The swamping finish from well back by Rising Shot to score was a "wow" moment. That won't be her last win.

Forget the runs of two beaten favourites who went around Saturday - Hiflyer and Lizzie L'Amour. As a back runner Hiflyer copped all sorts of backwash and didn't really get into the clear until the race was over.

He was still only 1.4 lengths from the winner. Lizzie L'Amour's wide gate at the 2100m was always potentially dangerous and so it proved.

Try as he may, Matt Cameron would not get her closer to the inside rail than three deep and was forced to go much wider when he pressed the button 500m out.

What the jockeys said after Eagle Memorial

Top Prospect (Alysha Collett): He jumped and relaxed really well. He worked into it at the 600m beautifully. He got a little lost up the straight, too, but he won well.
Barcelo (Shaun McKay): He went huge. We sat just off the speed in midfield. He will improve once he gets over ground.
Creative Genius (Opie Bosson): It was a good run. He's still very new to the game but he is improving.
O'Guy (Kelly McCulloch): It was a really nice run. He is a progressive horse and I think he has got a bright future.
Excalibur (Leith Innes): I tried to tag on to the winner and he just lost his concentration a little. He'll need blinkers.
Secret Stash (Craig Grylls): I thought it wasn't a bad run, it was a big step up in class. He held his own, I think he was winding up nice the last bit so more ground should suit.
Showpin (Mathew Cameron): It was a top run. He's been to the races a couple of times now and they've been called off so he has missed out there. He stuck on quite well considering the pace he set.
Avec Moi (Cameron Lammas): It was a nice run. We were in a nice position, she was maybe just a little weak at 1600m. I think more ground will help her.
Wilijonmcbride (Ryan Elliot): It was a good run, he was winding up late. More ground on a fast track will help.
Irish Mist (Danielle Johnson): It was a bit of a battling run today. He likes to go forward and we missed the kick a little, he then pulled quite hard. Maybe a little rain would suit him.
Fully Charged (Sam Spratt): She went no good.
Coat Of Honor (Lynsey Satherley): The track was too good. She'll be better in the autumn.
In Position (Grant Cooksley): No good.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 17 Jan 2017 17:54:08 Processing Time: 552ms