113 wins for champion trainers

Saint Emilion (Jonathan Riddell) posting the 113th win for the season for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman. (Photo: Race Images).

Saint Emilion (Jonathan Riddell) posting the 113th win for the season for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman. (Photo: Race Images).

The last throw of the dice was a winning one for the country’s leading trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman at Waverley today.

Although already having broken the trainer’s record and obviously clearly won the NZ Trainers’ Premiership, the Cambridge trainers had hoped to add to their 112-win tally when they fired their last two shots of the season at the Waverley meeting.

Mime, the stable’s first runner of the day, settled third but didn’t really wind up until too late and had to settle for second placing behind New York Minute in the juvenile event and all eyes were then on stablemate Saint Emilion in the final race, the Colin Cromarty 50th Birthday 1200.

Saint Emilion was having his first run since last March and punters liked his prospects, installing him a $3.20 favourite, but his winning chances didn’t look good on the turn when he appeared to be under pressure.

Rider Jonathan Riddell had jumped Saint Emilion out well and settled him third on the fence but was working on him turning for home. It wasn’t actually until inside the final 200 metres that he looked likely to win and in the end he stretched out to score by a length and a quarter.

Coincidentally, left chasing Saint Emilion home in second and fourth placings were Nom du Beel and Nom de Boss, two of the progeny of Nom Du Jeu, who was a Group One Australian Derby winner for the Baker stable.

“I was hoping to end on a winner,” said Forsman. “He was out last runner for the season and it was good to get another win.

“The track was worse than I thought it would be – they were running heavy track times – but he got away with it.

“He’s a bit funny amongst horses and he might need blinkers on soon.”

While the Avondale meeting winds up the racing season tomorrow, the next raceday runner for the Baker and Forsman stable will be at Ruakaka on Saturday when Elusive Gold runs in the second race. But the most interest will be on the open trials before the first event with Mongolian Khan, Turn Me Loose, Maygrove and Dal Cielo set to further their Australian preparations.