An exhibition gallop at the Gold Coast on Saturday by Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) candidate Lord Arthur has Cambridge trainer Murray Baker pleased with his progress as he gets set for the Brisbane Group 1 feature next month.
Baker and co-trainer Andrew Forsman have taken Lord Arthur and stablemate Bobby Dee to Queensland in search of Derby success with both 3-year-olds set to have their lead-up runs in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Eagle Farm next weekend.
"Lord Arthur had a good hit-out at the Gold Coast on Saturday and went along nicely," Baker said.
"He needed the blowout as he hasn't had a run since he won at Ellerslie just over a month ago.
"In saying that, he has been kept up to the mark in his work, but it was good to give him a decent run-along on Saturday.
"Bobby Dee is also going well but he didn't need to have a gallop as he only raced at Te Rapa a fortnight ago.
"They will both take their place in the Grand Prix Stakes and barring any issue the Derby after that."
The Baker-Forsman juggernaut rolled on back at home over the weekend with three winners including a brace at the Awapuni meeting with 2-year-old filly She's A Lady and valuable broodmare prospect Hinerangi in the Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m).
"It was great for Hinerangi to get that all-important black-type win on Saturday," Baker said. "She is a Fastnet Rock mare from a good family and that win has added significantly to her future broodmare career."
Baker is also looking to a black-type feature for Swiss Ace filly She's A Lady who showed plenty of grit for her maiden win at her stable debut for Baker and Forsman after doing her early racing from Richard Yuill's Pukekohe stable.
"We've got a fair bit of time for her [She's A Lady] as she has shown us a lot since we've had her," he said.
"She showed plenty of determination to get the win, especially in the last 100m and has pulled up well afterwards. I think we can take a look at a race like the Castletown Stakes [Listed, 1200m] at Wanganui next month, now she has shown she can handle a wet track."
Baker and Forsman currently sit atop the national trainers' premiership with 103 wins for the season, nine clear of nearest rival Jamie Richards, with just over two months left in the current season.
- NZ Racing Desk