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Music Magnate on song in comeback victory

Music Magnate has made a triumphant return to racing at Randwick to ensure Bjorn Baker enjoyed a happy homecoming hours after arriving from Hawaii.

The Warwick Farm-based trainer timed his return for the Listed Christmas Classic (1200m) and one of his most reliable performers made a successful comeback from injury in Saturday’s feature.

A contender for a slot in the $10 million Everest until he needed bone chips removed from both front fetlocks in May, the six-year-old gelding converted two barrier trial wins into victory when it really counted as the $3.60 favourite.

Baker deflected the kudos to long-time foreman Jason Patrick after the 61kg top weight notched the 10th win of a 20-start career highlighted by last year’s Group One Doomben 10,000.

“I’ve just turned up this morning and he’s in great order. It’s a credit to the team and Jason in particular,” he said.

“He’s known him as long as I have, he said he’s never looked better and he raced accordingly.”

Baker was confident as the race unfolded with Isorich setting the early tempo before Music Magnate pulled clear at the 100.

“He had to work a little bit to get across so it’s good to see him back doing that,” he said.

Baker said plans could now be put in place for early 2018 with the defence of the weight-for-age Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 3 an option.

“We’ll have a bit of a think about it, obviously the Expressway is there,” he said.

A $45,000 purchase who has lifted his earnings past $1.1 million, Music Magnate is the sort of steal Baker hopes to emulates at the upcoming Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast.

“He’s a top class horse, he’s overcome a number of hurdles and with the sales coming up I’m hoping to buy a few more of these ones,” he said.

Blake Shinn’s first race on Music Magnate panned out perfectly as he rounded up eventual third-placegetter Isorich ($14) before holding off Dothraki ($9.50) by three-quarters of a length.

“Credit to Bjorn for giving him a good foundation to get him ready for today, it’s nice to see him deliver,” he said.

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