Dual purpose to Aussie trip

Gesemi , who will make her Australian debut this weekend. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Gesemi , who will make her Australian debut this weekend. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

A trip across the Tasman for a romantic rendezvous might yet spawn racetrack spoils for Cambridge mare Gesemi.

Raced by the families of long-time Murray Baker stable clients, Alistair Lawrence and John Rattray, the Ekraar five-year-old mare Gesemi will tackle Saturday’s Gr. 3 Tattersall’s Cup (2200m) at Eagle Farm.

Baker and co-trainer Andrew Forsman have pencilled in a start in the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on July 2 should she race well this weekend. However, Gesemi’s winter campaign is not her primary reason for the trip.

“She’s probably going to stud in Australia and it makes sense to send her now with these couple of races that suit,” said Baker. “Hopefully she can pay her expenses.”

Gesemi flew to Australia last Sunday and has pleased the stable in the lead-up to the Tatt’s Cup, but Baker admitted he didn’t know how she would measure up.

“We’ve just got to see,” he said. “She doesn’t do the really heavy tracks we’ve got back home at the moment and this a $200,000 race with just seven runners so we think it’s well worth a shot.

“I don’t really know how she’ll go, to be honest. But she ran a good third at Te Rapa in the Travis Stakes at Group Two level on a better track. She’s run fourth in the Rotorua Cup and third in the Cornwall [Handicap] since, but the tracks were just too heavy for her.

“It’s a slow track over there at the moment but a slow 7 in Australia isn’t like a slow 7 at home.”

Gesemi, who again races in blinkers on Saturday, has won six of her 24 starts. Among her rivals are the Adrian and Harry Bull-trained last-start Brisbane Cup winner Benzini and former Kiwi galloper Brave Ali.

Closer to home, the Baker-Forsman stable will produce the trio of San Miguel, Shot In The Dark and Del Rios at Tauranga on Saturday.

Baker said Shot In The Dark had missed some work because of a hoof abscess after his last-start second to subsequent winner Koenigsegg One, but he was over that issue and was well up to winning the three-year-old event.  

— NZ Racing Desk.