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Mr Gustavo to chase cash at Randwick

Mr Gustavo is the latest in a string of New Zealand horses sent to Sydney with dollar signs in their eyes.

Even before purses for Sydney metropolitan Saturday races were elevated to a minimum $100,000, more horses were travelling across the Tasman in search of prize money.

Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller has a host of horses sent from his homeland to compete in Sydney’s rich racing scene.

Fellow New Zealander Bjorn Baker has been sent Mr Gustavo to train and he will make his Australian debut in the Filante Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Mr Gustavo is owned by Baker’s stable client Scott Richardson who raced dual Group Two winner Burbero with him.

“He’s just here chasing money so we’ll see what happens,” Baker said.

While Saturday may not be his day, the Goulburn Cup on November 20 looms as a target race for Mr Gustavo.

“He’s still got a little bit of improvement,” Baker said.

“Fourteen hundred metres first-up is hard. He’s probably been a bit patchy in his last preparation in New Zealand but he’s trialled well.”

Mr Gustavo won seven races from 27 starts in New Zealand where he was trained by Baker’s father Murray and Andrew Forsman.

Baker and Richardson also have Mr Steal in a 1600m benchmark race at Randwick, first-up from winning the Orange Cup in April.

And Richardson owns Highlad, trained by Murray Baker and Forsman, who is set for the Victoria Derby at Flemington on October 29.

Mr Gustavo will line up against stablemate Rock Forthe Ladies who has been supported from $5 to $3.80 second favourite for the race.

And Baker agrees with the market.

“He should get a nice run and he should be hard to beat,” Baker said.

The five-year-old gelding will be having his fourth start since being transferred from Peter Moody and will carry 54kg with Tim Clark aboard, dropping six kilograms from his most recent start.

“It’s the first time I’ve had him where he’s had weight relief,” Baker said.

The Waller-trained Religify is the $2.30 favourite while Red Excitement, trained by Gerald Ryan, is at $6.50.

Egyptian Symbol’s Group Three Nivison victory last Saturday marked a breakthrough for Baker whose recent results had suffered after a virus swept through the stable during winter.

Baker said Egyptian Symbol would have her next start in the Group Three Hong Kong Jockey Club Plate at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

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