Leading NZ trainer Murray Baker has the Melbourne spring carnival in his sights.
Veteran New Zealand trainer Murray Baker is looking ahead to the new season with several potential stars ready to trial at Te Rapa.
Baker and his training partner Andrew Forsman have secured their third straight NZ premiership with their tally including a record 25 stakes wins.
The duo sits on 112 wins with just one race day left in the season, 14 clear of Jamie Richards.
“We have had a good year but those 25 stakes wins is pretty hard to beat as our season highlight,” Baker told NZ Racing Desk.
While happy with the season, Baker hopes to have a bigger presence next season in Australia where he has won 21 Group One races, a record for an NZ-based trainer.
“We have had good success in Australia over the years although we didn’t really fire there last season,” he said.
“I think we have some really nice young horses coming through and with some luck we might just be able to improve our record over there again.”
With Forsman enjoying a family holiday in Sweden, Baker will be at Monday’s Te Rapa trials where the stable will produce several of their leading spring candidates including Victoria Derby hopeful Quick Thinker.
“Quick Thinker is a rising three-year-old that we think has plenty of untapped potential,” Baker said.
“He appeals as a real staying type so we are looking at setting him for the VRC Derby if he comes up like we think he can.
“He will have a nice quiet hit-out over 900 metres at Te Rapa for his first outing this time in.
“Cutadeel, who is nominated for some of the Hastings Spring Carnival features and The Chosen One are another pair who we think can step up in grade this season, that will be at Te Rapa on Monday.
“The Chosen One and Madison County are both progressing nicely and are being targeted at some of the Melbourne features. They will most likely go straight to Australia without having a lead-up run over here.”