Gustavo wins Anzac Mile

Gustavo (Masa Tanaka) breaking through for his first stakes win at Awapuni today.

Gustavo (Masa Tanaka) breaking through for his first stakes win at Awapuni today.

Gustavo added to a growing list of stakes winners trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have amassed by champion sire Savabeel when taking the Listed Manawatu ITM Anzac Mile at Awapuni today.

It was Gustavo’s first black type success and easily topped his previous best performance in a stakes race, a fourth to Natuzzi in the Listed J. Swap Contractors Sprint at Te Rapa last December.

“We’ve won some good races with the Savabeels,” said Baker. “There’s been Diademe, Lady Kipling, Saavvoya, Pipi Beel and others.”

Topping the list of the Savabeel performers in the Baker – Forsman stable is Diademe, whose seven wins included the Gr. 1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha and the Gr. 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes. Diademe was raced by Scott Richardson, who bred and races Gustavo.

Lady Kipling won 11 races from the Cambridge stables, including the Gr. 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes and Gr. 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes, while Saavoya picked up the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic and Gr. 2 Royal Stakes and Pipi Beel was runner-up in the Gr. 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes before going amiss.

Another Savabeel stakes winner for Baker and Forsman this season has been Coldplay, who took the Gr. 3 Eulogy Stakes.

Gustavo notched his seventh win from 25 starts and he did it by producing a form reversal, having failed to pay a dividend in his three lead-up starts.

“We changed his training a bit and it seems to have worked,” said Baker. “That was a big effort today. He had to cover a lot of ground.”

Gustavo was settled wide just off the pace by rider Masa Tanaka and ranged up early in the run home. He collared Endure inside the last 150 metres then withstood a late charge from Gwynethanne to win, while Endure held on for third.

Gustavo is the second winner Tanaka has ridden for the Baker. “He rode a winner for us at Waverley,” said Baker. “He’s keen and he’s had that overseas experience. That’s why we put him on.”

Baker had intended to give Gustavo a spell after the Anzac Mile, but he may change his mind.

“I’ll have a talk to Scott first, but there’s a chance he could have another run,” said Baker.