Rosehill return for Shades Of Rose

When Bjorn Baker opened his Sydney stable just over a decade ago, the first winner he saddled up was Sky Gaze at Bathurst.

Since then, the New Zealand-born horseman has cemented himself among the top echelon of trainers, but Bathurst remains a happy hunting ground and an important stepping stone in the education of many of his horses.

Baker’s Rosehill hopeful Shades Of Rose did her early racing at the NSW central tablelands track, the filly kicking off her career with back-to-back wins at Bathurst earlier this year, highlighted by a 7-1/2 length romp over 1100m in February in race record time.

“I have had a lot of luck there over the years and she is a nice filly,” Baker said.

“She’s going really well. Her trials have been excellent and she’s an exciting horse.”

Shades Of Rose made a successful transition to city racing in February when she dictated from the front to score a midweek win at Canterbury.

She returns from a break in Saturday’s Bisley Workwear Handicap (1100m) and from an inside draw, is a $2.80 favourite to extend her winning sequence to four.

“She’s got a good gate in gate one and she has got speed, so she will be up there,” Baker said.

“In time, she will definitely measure up. She is a Saturday class horse through and through.”

Three-year-old Divine Okay has also been given a grounding in country and provincial races and after a last-start victory at Wyong, Baker is weighing up whether to bring him to town for the Ned Australian Whisky Handicap (1300m).

He is also an acceptor at Newcastle but if Divine Okay does take his place at Rosehill, Baker expects him to acquit himself well.

“I think he has improved off his last win, and he is going to have to stepping up to city grade, but he’s a nice son of Capitalist and he has a good future,” Baker said.

The Catch and Starspangled Rodeo round out Baker’s Rosehill team but both will need to lift on their recent runs.

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