Murray Baker should be able to raise his bat in the near future, with tomorrow's Te Rapa meeting likely to be a step closer.

The Cambridge trainer, who registered a first class century during his cricket career, is approaching 100 wins for the season.

Baker and his training partner Andrew Forsman have won 96 races this term, with six of those wins coming in Australia.

The stable has had a particularly potent run over the past two months, with 24 wins from 97 runners since March 20.


That period includes the spectacular classic double in Sydney with Jon Snow and Bonneval.

Remarkably, a quarter of the stable's 96 wins since August 1 have come in black-type races, including 20 at group level.

Baker and Forsman have a 17-win buffer at the top of the trainers' premiership, putting them on target to win their second premiership in the space of three years.

They will not be represented at the Brisbane winter carnival but should continue to make a mark on the domestic scene and will have up to 15 runners this weekend.

The stable has nine acceptors for Te Rapa tomorrow and another six at Rotorua on Sunday.

The Rotorua entries include Maygrove and Show The World in the group 3 Rotorua Cup (2200m) and Bonniegirl and Honey Rider in the group 3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

Bonniegirl will have her first start in the colours carried by the high class Australian galloper Criterion.

Criterion was raced by Sir Owen Glenn, who bought Bonniegirl after the Darci Brahma mare made a spectacular return to racing when winning a listed open sprint at Hastings on April 15. Bonniegirl came from back in the field to beat her Rotorua rival Underthemoonlight.

"It was a big win at Hastings," Baker said. "She just mowed them down. "This looks a good race for her [at Rotorua] but she doesn't want it real heavy."

Three-year-old Honey Rider has already been a group 3 winner this term and was runner-up in the group 3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa at her last start.

Honey Rider and Bonniegirl have drawn the two inside stalls though Baker is concerned that that could be a disadvantage on a wet track.

Matt Cameron will ride Bonniegirl and Maygrove, with Danielle Johnson on Show The World.

Maygrove is unbeaten from two starts at Rotorua and was runner-up in the Hawke's Bay Cup at his last start.

The stable entries at Te Rapa include Break My Stride and Grand Rio who will be rivals in a strong rating 75 1400m. Grand Rio is unbeaten from two starts and Baker has a high opinion of Break My Stride.

"He might need a good track but he could be a good horse in the making."

Central districts trainer Kevin Myers has a strong hand in the two big jumping races at Te Rapa.

Track specialist Sea King will carry 70kg in the Waikato Hurdles while his stablemates Palemo and The Big Opal tackle the Waikato Steeplechase.

Meanwhile, New Zealand stables will be lightly represented at the Doomben meeting in Queensland tomorrow.

Splurge, who has had five wins and a second from six starts this term, will make his Australian debut in the BRC Sprint (1350m) and Benzini will tackle the Doomben Cup (2000m).

Sound Proposition is first on the ballot for the Doomben Cup.