Mickey or Tipsy for Baker?


Local trainer Murray Baker (pictured) is staging a two-pronged attack on the Listed Platinum Homes NZ Rotorua Plate at Rotorua on Saturday.

Baker will saddle up the topweight Mr Tipsy as well as the mudlark Hurricane Mickey in the 1950-metre open handicap and he rates both as strong chances.

Mr Tipsy, a talented stayer who has been placed in Auckland and Sydney Cups, won well fresh-up in the Listed Westbury Stud Karaka Classic at Pukekohe last month, while Hurricane Mickey was fourth in the same event.

Mr Tipsy will be ridden on Saturday by Opie Bosson, who was in the saddle at Pukekohe, and Michael Coleman will continue his association with Hurricane Mickey.

“I’m happy with Mr Tipsy, though he’s got a big weight,” said Baker, referring to the 59kg impost.

Baker is aiming Mr Tipsy at the DHL Counties Cup, while Hurricane Mickey, winner of the Te Awamutu Cup last July, is close to heading to the spelling paddock. “He could have one more at Wellington if it’s wet,” said Baker.

Hurricane Mickey has proved successful up to 1600 metres, but failed in a couple of starts over ground. Baker believes Saturday’s race is an ideal chance to give the horse another opportunity to master a middle distance.

Meanwhile Baker isn’t about to disregard Lion Tamer as a big chance over the next few weeks in Melbourne despite the horse finishing eighth
of nine in last Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.

“It was just the leader’s bias of the track,” said Baker. “He set off a long way from home — about 800 metres out — and once he was wide he couldn’t make ground. The new ground was on the rail and they were winning on the pace all day.

“He’s come through the race well and I’ll put blinkers on him in the Cox Plate. The last time he had blinkers on was when he won the VRC Derby.”

Hugh Bowman, the rider in the VRC Derby, will be reunited with Lion Tamer in the Cox Plate.