Bjorn Baker’s half-dozen set for Rosehill raid

Bjorn Baker has decided against stepping Arapaho up in class and distance this weekend, but a sterner test is on the radar if the import can repeat his last-start heroics.

Arapaho will take his place in Saturday’s Petaluma Handicap (1800m) after trouncing his rivals by more than 7-1/2 lengths over the same course and distance last month.

Baker did toy with throwing him in the mix for the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) on the same program but decided the shorter race was a better option for now.

“He ran super there at the 1800 last time so we will go again at the 1800,” Baker said.

“He seems to be in great order at the moment.”

Arapaho had been mixing his form prior to his last-start win when he started at double-figure odds.

While the ease of his victory surprised Baker, the fact he won did not.

“I thought he would go well and I thought he was well over the odds, but it was hard to envisage a performance like that,” Baker said.

“It was one out of the box.

“But we did have a good opinion of him earlier on, so from an ability point of view, it wasn’t a complete surprise.”

If Arapaho can reproduce something akin to his last-start heroics, Baker says there are plenty of nice staying races for him over the winter.

Arapaho will be among six Rosehill runners for the popular Warwick Farm trainer, whose team also includes handy mare Lady Of Luxury in the Farewell Nevesh Ramdhani Handicap (1400m) and Night Of Power in the Ranvet Handicap (1500m).

The latter will carry 60kg after the three-kilo claim of apprentice Dylan Gibbons and Baker is leaning towards running him despite his impost and a wide draw in 14.

Night Of Power had robust form around Group performers Ellsberg and Promise Of Success in the spring and Baker said if the track continued to improve, it would only enhance his chances of landing back-to-back wins.

“He was very good last start and the more the track dries out for him, the better,” Baker said.

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