Baker and Overpass thrill Ascot with G1 Winterbottom Stakes win

The significance of winning the Winterbottom Stakes was not lost on Bjorn Baker as Overpass strode to victory in the second of Perth’s three Group One events of The Pinnacles carnival.

Overpass ($3 bookmakers favourite) conquered the inaugural running of The Quokka (1200m), worth $4 million, in April and Baker’s bid to add the this victory to the five-year-old’s record came off as jockey Josh Parr steered Overpass to the middle part of the home straight to score by more that 1½-lengths over Oscar’s Fortune ($8) with in-form Ripcord ($6.50) less than a length away in third.

“Four international superstars have won this race, Australian sprinting superstars,” Baker said.

“Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Ortensia and Buffering (have won it) and to win this race is amazing.

“Josh Parr rode him like the best horse and he’s a big race rider.”

Baker’s only instructions to Parr in the 1200-metre feature was to ‘be positive’ in the run and Parr did just that settling off the leaders.

“You have to utilise that early speed,” Baker added and recalled Overpass’ tenth placing in The Everest (1200m) in October.

“I thought he could win The Everest and I’m not saying he was unlucky but I just don’t know if he had his best day.”

The $1.5 million event was the tenth win at the highest level for Parr.

“I watched race after race with horses sitting back and swooping in the middle of the track and, to be honest, it was starting to play on my mind,” Parr said.

“So I’m really pleased to trust the horse’s ability, to race forward and put the race to sleep.”

The gelding by Vancouver notched his seventh victory in 25 starts.

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