Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker is looking forward to a couple of multi-million dollar wins with his Testa Rossa gallopers Unencumbered and Twilight Royale.
Unencumbered looked a cut above his Magic Millions rivals with an authoritative victory in the G3 B J McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday. Bookmakers reacted by promoting the Testa Rossa colt to a clear $4 favourite for the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on January 11.
Baker tried to keep the hype to a minimum after the win. “We’re not getting too carried away – there will be horses coming from Sydney,” he said. “But we are on the Gold Coast now and I just hope things continue to go well in the lead up to the Magic Millions.”
Unencumbered (2c Testa Rossa – Blizzardly by More Than Ready) was a $70,000 buy for Baker from the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions. Blizzardly was bred by Vinery and she was a precocious juvenile winning the LR Keith Mackay Stakes at Randwick.
“He’s a real professional and was just too good for them,” jockey Nathan Berry said. “If anything, he got to the lead too early in the straight. He will be better if ridden further back off the speed.”
Vinery sire Testa Rossa won the 1999 Magic Millions Classic and he has 14 yearlings catalogued for the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale starting on January 8. He stood at Vinery for a $27,500 (inc gst) this year although that fee could well be increased for 2014.
Baker also trains Group 2 winning Testa Rossa filly Twilight Royale who is alive to claim a $2.40 million Inglis Triple Crown bonus if she wins the Scone Guineas in May.