Turn Me Loose on track for Futurity defence

Turn Me Loose (Kerrin McEvoy) holding on determinedly to win the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk/Sportspix).

Turn Me Loose (Kerrin McEvoy) holding on determinedly to win the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington. (Photo: NZ Racing Desk/Sportspix).

Group One star Turn Me Loose is on track to defend his title in the Gr.1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield. 

A wet winter played havoc with Turn Me Loose’s spring preparation and led to a condensed campaign of just the Gr.2 Schillaci Stakes and Gr.1 Darley Classic in Melbourne over distances short of his best.

However, Cambridge trainer Murray Baker couldn’t be more upbeat in assessing his stable star.

“He’s going as well as he’s ever gone,” said Baker. “He’ll trial at Cambridge on January 10 and then he’ll possibly go to Australia, though we’re undecided yet because he’s still in the Telegraph.”

A more likely alternative to the Telegraph for Turn Me Loose’s first-up run is the Gr.2 Australian Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27, which provides fortnight intervals into the Gr.1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 11 and the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same track on February 25.

“He ran well in both those races last year and we think he’ll go just as well this time around,” said Baker.

Turn Me Loose was named Champion Sprinter and Champion Middle Distance Performer at last season’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards and was a finalist for Horse of the Year in Victoria, having also won the Seymour Cup, Gr.2 Crystal Mile and Gr.1 Emirates Stakes in successive starts earlier in the season.

Also a winner of the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, Turn Me Loose has won seven of his 17 starts for earnings of almost $1.6 million.

– NZ Racing Desk