Orbity has Baker casting mind back

Murray Baker was reminded of his good mare Balincy when Orbity raced to a thoroughly deserved fifth straight win in the Listed $50,000 Fordell O’Leary Fillies Stakes at Wanganui yesterday.

It was 22 years ago that Baker won the same race, then known as the Trudy Thomson Memorial, with Balinchy.

“I can still remember her winning with N.G. Harris in the saddle,” recalled Baker. “She was a tough little filly, a bit like this one (Orbity). Orbity isn’t very big, but she’s got a big heart and she wants to win. Balinchy was like that.”

Balinchy racked up win number three when she took the Wanganui fillies feature in 1991 and in doing so she beat Conifer Bay with the Baker stablemate and subsequent top filly Staring in third spot. Staring is now playing a big role in the Baker – Andrew Forsman stable as the grandam of the stable star Dundeel.

Balinchy went on to also win her next start after the Wanganui event and that win came in the Gr. 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes at Te Rapa. In total, Balinchy won 12 races, including a victory at Moonee Valley in 1992, and Harris was aboard in another of her feature New Zealand wins, the Whyte Handicap at Trentham.

Another jockey who did have a very good association with Balinchy was Shane Udy, who ride her to victory in the Gr. 2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes, the Listed Tauranga Stakes and the Listed Matamata Cup. Udy has resurfaced on raceday as the regular attendant and trackwork rider for the courageous mare Postmans Daughter.

Though it’s hard to predict that Orbity will be as good as Balinchy, she has certainly started off in better fashion, being unbeaten in her last five appearances, including the Listed Ryder Stakes at Awapuni.

Orbity left no excuses for her rivals yesterday when scoring by a half-length from Fantastic Honour, while Philipa Charlotte held third placing, a length and a half further back.

She had an excuse if she was beaten yesterday as she was softened up when taken on in front by Grant’s Girl then had to withstand a strong challenge from the big filly Fantastic Honour.

Baker sees no reason why Orbity can’t continue her good form at Hastings in the Gr. 3 $70,000 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes in a fortnight.

“She’s a quiet, lovely filly who just gets on with it,” said Baker. “She’s tough and she’ll go on better ground, too. We’ve got to look at Hawkes Bay now.”