Baker’s two-pronged Cup attack

Murray Baker has two strong lightweight chances in the Group II Lynn Electrical Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on Saturday.

Baker will be represented in the $70,000 event by Jeu de Cartes and Fast Love and it will be specially pleasing if the former succeeds. Jeu de Cartes is a daughter of one of the Baker stable stars, Prized Gem, a
dual Group One winner.

Prized Gem won the 2002 Group I Brisbane Cup in the hands of Michael Rodd and later in the spring the same combination was successful in the Group I Kelt Capital Stakes at Hastings.

But before Prized Gem became a Group One winner she had contested the Hawke’s Bay Cup and finished third behind Gordon’s. Now 10 years later her daughter, Jeu de Cartes, is a big chance to go a couple of placings better in the Hastings feature.

Jeu de Cartes’ two latest runs have been over 1600 metres, a distance shorter than she prefers, and she has performed creditably. She was a close third behind Villifye and Postman’s Daughter in the Group II Windsor Park Stud Japan Cup (1600m) at Tauranga then ninth to Say No More in the Group I Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha.

“She went a great race at Tauranga and drew the outside last start at Te Aroha and covered a lot of ground,” said Baker. “It was still a very good run and she’s better over more ground.”

Jason Collett will ride Jeu de Cartes at Hastings and be out to add to his tally of two wins on the mare.  “Jason gets on well with her and he’s a top rider,” said Baker.

Baker warns punters to overlook Fast Love’s 11th in last Friday’s  Listed NZ Bloodstock Insurance
Manawatu Breeders Stakes. “She’s far better than that and she should go a lot better on Saturday,” he said. “Lisa Allpress will be riding her.”

Fast Love won two starts ago at Waipukurau when ridden by James McDonald and was a Listed winner 12 months ago in the Warstep Stakes at Riccarton.

Doctor Fremantle will be a rival for the Baker duo in the Hawke’s Bay Cup and trainer Lauren Brennan should be looking for a bold showing after his last-start third in the Group II Lawnmaster Awapuni Gold Cup.

Also from the Cambridge district are Petergrabriel, an-form runner from Yves Seguin’s stable, and the Roger James-trained La Vienne, who is a strong lightweight chance.