Arapaho ramps up 2023 Winx Stakes preparations

Bjorn Baker will entertain a Japan Cup bid for Group One winner Arapaho, who has tuned up for his Winx Stakes return with an exhibition gallop at Warwick Farm.

With race jockey Rachel King in the saddle, the Tancred Stakes winner worked over 1000m in a slick 1:00.86, clocking 33.92 seconds for his final 600 metres.

King was rapt with the hitout and said Arapaho was “flying”.

“From about the half-mile he quickened up really nicely and I’m very happy with him,” King said.

“I think he’s definitely capable of holding the form he showed in the autumn and if he has improved that little bit more, who knows what’s ahead. I think we’re in for a bit of fun this spring.”

King will partner Arapaho when he resumes in the Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday week but there could be even bigger fish to fry down the track. The horse’s Tancred victory qualified him for the Japan Cup and Baker hasn’t ruled out making the trip.

“There are 300,000 reasons to be there because he gets $200,000 American for turning up,” Baker said.

“And I like sashimi.”

Stablemate and Quokka winner Overpass also galloped between races, the normally sedate worker getting a thumbs up from jockey Josh Parr.

“That was brilliant,” Parr said.

“At trackwork he’s quite lazy, he just does what he has to, but you get him with a bit of adrenaline, he’s so engaged with his work.”

Baker said he was keen to give both horses a race day gallop to “bring them on a bit” with Overpass, who is in the mix for an Everest slot, due to kick off his spring in The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16.

The Annabel Neasham pair of Libertad and Kristilli also had exhibition gallops, Neasham satisfied both are tracking well towards their respective returns.

Percy Sykes Stakes winner Kristilli will kick off in the Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) on Saturday week, while the Golden Rose-bound Libertad is likely to resume in the San Domenico Stakes (1100m) seven days later.

“Libertad has really come on, he’s midway between trials and will trial again next week,” Neasham said.

“She will kick off in the Silver Shadow.

“They’re both very nice horses, both very different horses. He’s Mr Laidback and she’s Miss Hothead.”

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