Baker pleased with Sydney charges

Opie Bosson returning to scale on Mongolian Khan after winning the Gr. 1 TV3 NZ Derby. acknowledging the(Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk).

Opie Bosson returning to scale on Mongolian Khan after winning the Gr. 1 TV3 NZ Derby. acknowledging the(Photo: Trish Dunell/NZ Racing Desk).


Murray Baker cast his eyes over Mongolian Khan and Maygrove when arriving in Sydney yesterday and was quick to give them the thumbs up for their important missions on Saturday.

“I’m happy with both them,” said Baker. “Maygrove has done well since his first run over here and Mongolian Khan came over last Monday week. He has travelled well and settled in well.”

NZ Derby winner Mongolian Khan will be chasing his sixth win in succession when making his Australian debut in the Gr. 1 A$500,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m), while the Wellington Cup winner Mayrgove will be stepping up from his fresh-up fourth over 2000 metres at Randwick on March 7 to 2400 in the Gr. 3 A$150,000 Manion Cup.

Mongolian Khan was given a five-day freshen-up after beating Volkstok’n’barrell in the Gr. 1 TV3 NZ Derby (2400m) on February 28 and has pleased Baker with his progress.

“We haven’t done a lot with him because I wanted to keep him a bit fresh because he’s dropped back to 2000 metres,” said Baker. “It could be a touch short for him and really the (Australian) Derby is his main target.

“It’s a top field. There are only seven acceptors but the big guns are there. They’re all talking Hallowed Crown and Sweynesse over here.”

Opie Bosson is travelling to Sydney on Friday to ride Mongolian Khan and he will also be aboard Music Magnate and Burbero for Baker’s son, Bjorn, while Hugh Bowman will ride Maygrove.

“Maygrove will appreciate the 2400 metres and he should be right in it,” said Baker. “He’ll probably go to the Chairmans Handicap after this before the Sydney Cup.”

Though concentrating on the Sydney squad, Baker will also be keeping close tabs on the performance of Diademe in the Gr. 2 $100,000 Windsor Park Stud Japan/NZ International Trophy at Tauranga on Saturday.

Diademe promises to be one of the top chances in the 1600-metre event and Baker and training partner, Andrew Forsman, will be looking for a top performance to press on for the Gr. 1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha on April 4.