Star lets loose at trials

Turn Me Loose and co-trainer Andrew Forsman . (Photo: Wally O'Hearn)

Turn Me Loose and co-trainer Andrew Forsman . (Photo: Wally O’Hearn)

Turn Me Loose’s quest for further Group One Australian titles got off to a low key, but faultless start today.

The outstanding Cambridge four-year-old’s preparation was turned up a notch at the Avondale trials where he claimed his 1200-metre heat in the hands of Opie Bosson by two and a half lengths from fellow top-flight winner Volkstok’n’barrell.

“He’s going well and we’re happy with him,” said Murray Baker, who trains Turn Me Loose with Andrew Forsman.

“He may take a race, he always has, but he’s on the way up and that’s the main thing.”

Turn Me Loose was spelled after he ended his Melbourne spring campaign with a bold front-running victory in the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington.

He is due return to action in the Gr. 1 C.F. Orr Stakes on February 13 before returning to Caulfield a fortnight later for the Gr. 1 Futurity Stakes. Both races are weight-for-age contests over 1400 metres.

“As long as he goes well in Melbourne, we’ll take him up to Sydney,” said Baker.

His primary target there will be the Gr. 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 9, with the $A4 million feature to mark Turn Me Loose’s first start beyond a metric mile.

“He’s a big, strong horse and we hope he’ll get 2000 metres,” said Baker.

“He’s never raced right-handed in his 11-start career funnily enough, but he has trialled three times in that direction so we’ve got no worries.”

Turn Me Loose’s talented stablemate Dal Cielo also finished runner-up in a following 1000-metre trial at Avondale.

“He just got beaten – he hit the front and wilted,” said Baker. “We’re happy where he is, but the problem in New Zealand is that there are no Guineas races left over 1400 or 1600 metres so we’ll probably be forced to race him in Australia.”

Last season’s Gr. 1 Diamond Stakes winner returned home for a break after finishing runner-up in the Gr. 2 Sandown Guineas in the spring.

– NZ Racing Desk.