Bjorn Baker chasing Hawkesbury Gold Cup

Fresh from snaring the inaugural running of the $4 million The Quokka, Bjorn Baker is looking to continue his momentum at Hawkesbury where he has runners in three of the four feature races.

Baker made the dash to Perth for last weekend’s slot race and came away with the spoils courtesy of under-rated sprinter Overpass.

He is back in town for Saturday’s annual meeting where he has the gelded Malkovich in the Hawkesbury Gold Rush (1100m), Bring The Ransom in the Hawkesbury Crown (1300m) and Kiss The Bride in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m).

Baker has won two of the past four renewals of the Crown with Irithea (2019) and Exotic Ruby last year and believes he again has the right horse to give the race a shake in Bring The Ransom, who is coming off midfield efforts in the Emancipation (1500m) and Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).

“She is going really well. She’s back from a mile but she ran a super race in the Group One,” Baker said.

“Prior to that her run two starts ago was very good.

“It’s a significant drop in class for her and from a good gate (barrier two) she should be able to put herself in the first six or seven and that will give her a hope.”

Cup hopeful Kiss The Bride has been a stable stalwart and historically runs competitively second-up.

After resuming with a 1400m placing at Hawkesbury under a big weight, the seven-year-old drops to the 53.5kg minimum on Saturday and has a cosy draw in barrier six.

Baker won’t be surprised to see him run boldly as he heads towards next month’s Wagga Gold Cup.

“He’s been a great campaigner and funnily enough, his breed in particular get better,” Baker said.

“His mum (I Do) won a Group One as a seven-year-old so I’m still hoping he’s on the upward curve.

“Hopefully he can run a good race on Saturday, we’d love to get him down to the Wagga Cup and have a crack there.”

The speedy Malkovich rounds out his stakes runners and while he has to overcome the outside gate, Baker is looking forward to seeing what he can produce now he’s a gelding.

“He is lighter and more athletic so I’m hoping that can show on race day as well,” he said.

“The barrier makes it tricky, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed and see how the track comes up on race day as well.”

“The firmer the better for all my horses on Saturday.”

Hawkesbury was a soft 5 on Thursday and with no more rain forecast it should remain in that range.

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