Tense time for Cambridge stable

Local trainer Murray Baker is sitting in Queensland with three horses unsure whether all will start this weekend at Eagle Farm and, if so, in what races.

Baker has Usainity and Ambitious Champion in the Gr.1 $A500,000 Channel Seven Queensland Derby (2400) and Diademe nominated for both the Gr.2 $A200,000 Patinack Farm Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) and the Listed $A80,000 XXXX Gold Strawberry Road Handicap (1600m).

The only certain arrangement among the three horses is that Unsainity will tackle the Queensland Derby. Ambitious Champion is 24th in order of entry for the 2400-metre feature and Diademe may be forced to start is the lesser of her two enrolments.

“I’m happy with Ambitious Champion, but I doubt whether he will get in the Derby,” said Baker. “It’s a shame because he’s so well. Whatever happens he’ll be coming home on Monday and going to Hong Kong. He’s owned in Hong Kong and that’s always been the plan. We’ve just managed to slip this trip in, hoping to get him into the Derby.”

Ambitious Champion earned his Brisbane trip when producing an unbelievable performance to win over 2000 metres at Te Rapa on April 27. He went on to finish seventh, five and a half lengths from Hawkspur, in the Grand Prix Stakes in his Australian debut.

Usainity also contested the Grand Prix Stakes and fought well for fourth, one placing further back than he finished when chasing Hawkspur and Survived home in the Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate, his first-up Brisbane run.

Baker has attempted to keep Usainity on the fresh side since the Grand Prix Stakes and trips to a nearby beach have been an aid.

“He’s fit and we’ve got the right jockey on,” said Baker. “Hugh Bowman is sticking with him and that’s a big plus.”

Diademe has thrilled Baker since her first-up Brisbane third behind Sookie in the Gr.3 Glenlogan Park Stakes.

“She’s absolutely thrived over here,” said Baker. “She’s been to the beach, too, and she’s loving the warmer weather.

“We’re hoping she can get in the Dane Ripper, but because of the low New Zealand prizemoney it doesn’t look good. Even though she’s got a rating of 100 and has only three above her, the conditions of the race go on prizemoney won and that puts her 26th in order of entry.

“If she looks like being on the ballot in the Dane Ripper, she’ll be switched to the other race.

“Christian Reith will ride her again in whichever race she starts. He said he can’t wait to ride her at Eagle Farm and that the bigger track will suit her.”

Diademe’s main Brisbane mission is the Gr.1 $A500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (Winter) Stakes, a fillies and mares 1400 metres at Eagle Farm on June 22.