Kiwi trainer Murray Baker is out to win another Caulfield Cup

Murray Baker’s Australian Derby winner Quick Thinker has won first-up in Australia before and the wily Kiwi trainer is hoping the forecast raceday rain in Melbourne tumbles down for his Makybe Diva Stakes assignment at Flemington on Saturday.

Quick Thinker will be the first international Group 1 invader of the Melbourne spring carnival and TAB has him rated as a $26 chance to make an immediate impact.

Baker and co-trainer Andrew Forsman feel that the son of So You Think is a duck in the wet and that was on show when he prevailed in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) on a heavy Randwick track in April.

He has fired fresh in Australia before, having claimed the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Stakes over 1400m, also on a heavy track, at Rosehill last year.

Flemington may be a superb drying track but the forecast of up to 20mm of rain in Melbourne on Saturday has Baker crossing his fingers he may find conditions to his liking.

He insists Quick Thinker is fit enough to make an impact, even though he has bigger fish to fry with a potential Caulfield Cup tilt on the cards.

Baker has won more Group 1 races in Australia than any other Kiwi trainer, including the 2015 Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan.

“Quick Thinker does like a bit of cut in the ground, although you might need a bit to change the Flemington track,” Baker said.

“I think he is certainly helped by a slower track, he seems to like it.

“He is as fit as we can get him without racing but there is nothing like racing to bring him on.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he ran very well on Saturday but it’s hard to tell.

“We certainly want to get to the Caulfield Cup with him.

“We hope there is a lot of wet weather forecast for Melbourne this spring.”

Kiwi trainer Murray Baker. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:AAP


Baker said Quick Thinker, and stablemate The Chosen One, were initially not coming for the Melbourne spring as it looked like they would not be able to get on a plane to Melbourne due to the COVID-19 landscape.

As a result, Quick Thinker hasn’t trialled for a month and the logistics of getting him to Melbourne have proved challenging.

But Baker is convinced his Derby winner can shine in the spring, especially if he strikes wet tracks.

Quick Thinker is currently rated a $51 chance in the Caulfield Cup but those odds could be slashed if he turns in an eye-catcher first-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

“We weren’t going at one stage because we couldn’t get horses on the plane – there is not the flights into Melbourne that there is into Sydney,” Baker said.

“It’s been a bit of a mission because our travelling staff member, who is very experienced making her 12th trip to Australia, as she had to fly into Sydney and go into lockdown for two weeks and then drive to Flemington.

“Just to get everything co-ordinated, it wasn’t easy.

“A wet track would help Quick Thinker but it’s currently hard to know where he stands because it’s been a month since he trialled.”

Baker and Forsman will also have The Chosen One resuming on a probable Caulfield Cup campaign at Flemington on Saturday.

The Chosen One is rated an $11 chance in the Winning Edge Presentations Handicap (1700m).

* Group I winning Victorian jockey James Winks has been forced to retire after being diagnosed with Syncope.

Syncope is a medical term for fainting or passing out due to a temporary drop in blood flow to the brain and is often caused by physical stress, dehydration, heavy sweating and exhaustion.

Winks won five Group 1 races, the most recent of which was the 2015 Queensland Derby on Magicool.

Originally published asBaker thinking quick with Makybe Diva Stakes contender

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