Bjorn Baker was photographed starting to celebrate, following the victory of the colt he trained, Unencumbered, in the Magic Millions 2YO in January 2014. This year he has arguably Australia's most exciting racehorse, Winning Rupert, as the current long odds-on favourite in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas on 14 January. (Photo Dan Costello)
The best racing action over The New Year’s week end was at Eagle Farm on Saturday with the Ubet Summer Crown bonuses going off with Most Important scoring the $500,000 bonus for Open class horses the Tony Gollan yard. Earlier in the day Winning Rupert romped in the Vo Rogue Plate to collect the big bonus for 3 year olds for the in form Bjorn Baker stable. In doing so he set another track record on the new Eagle Farm surface. Winning Rupert is arguably the most exciting horse in Australia at the moment and looks to have a mortgage on the Magic Millions Guineas in 2 week’s time. He obviously has to step up to a much higher grade in either the Autumn or the Spring but he is certainly untapped at the moment and looks like we haven’t gotten to the bottom of him yet being undefeated in 5 starts and being untested in his last 3 runs and running electric times on each occasion.
Below is Matthew Howard’s weekly just racing mounting yard live report which you can also read live Matthew’s thoughts on his Facebook page each Saturday prior to the race to assist with backing winners each Saturday: https://facebook.com/mountingyardlive
Canterbury Park: Australian Turf Club Saturday 31, December 2016
Race 1 - 12:40PM TAB PLATE (1100 METRES)
1. CHAUFFER- Lovely type this horse, 2nd pick from the yard. His coat has really come on and tightened right up. Big danger to the favourite. At the top of his game now fitness wise.
2. COORG - Scratched.
3. ALL TOO HUIYING- Good improvement from this horse, fitness wise is at the top of its game from the last time I saw it 2 starts ago. Late scratching.
4. INDAVER- Another nice horse this however I would prefer him on a bigger track. Not totally screwed down so good improvement to come.
5. CHARLIE CHAP- Charlie chap is too big and too fat (almost rhymes).
6. SEPTANGO- Scratched.
7. TIARA STAR- Scratched.
8. FRENCH SKYLINE- She thinks she is staring in an episode of "So You think I can prance" No manners in the yard. Horses don’t win too many races parading like this.
9. EXCEEDS- Was really interested to see her as loved her racing action in the trial but she was still quite big and dull in the coat today. Has a lot of improvement to come.
10. FROM WITHIN- Top pick from the mounting yard here. She is a lovely loose walking filly that moves with purpose. Was apparently injured on the way to the track but no visible issues from the mounting yard. Next start will peak fitness wise. The one to beat.
Race 2 - 1:20PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
1. WEATHERLY- Presents in great order. Coat looks a picture and this horse has had a lot of work put into it. Not your typical Canterbury style horse but Messara presents this horse perfectly. 2nd pick from the yard.
2. SUPER TOO- Horse is very fit despite not racing for some time. Coat is not 100% there but that’s this horse. Still top pick from the yard.
3. FANNING- This horse parades quite poorly today. Seems nervous of the upcoming fireworks or something because its mind is elsewhere.
4. MAGNETAR- I think this horse needs the paddock. Not a winning chance for mine.
5. GENETEAU- Hasn’t improved in the yard but hasn’t gone backwards either. Gets off a wet track which suited it but does get Canterbury today which should suit its frame.
6. MISS AMAJARDAN- Remember this thing knocking off Morton's Fork. Still stings. Strong filly, reasonably fit but won’t be able to get around the bend here. Could end up in the grandstand. Follow on bigger track.
7. SPENDING TO WIN- Nice horse this and is right at the top of his game here. Very fit.
8. VIENNA ROMANCE- scratched.
Race 3 - 1:55PM NEW YEARS EVE HANDICAP (1250 METRES)
1. MISS WONDERLAND- Lovely filly. On top selection from the yard. Moves perfectly and very fit.
2. SUSPENDERS- Scratched.
3. FLYING JESS- She would need a head start to win this. Not fit and won’t know what hit her when that sharp bend comes.
4. IMPROVEMENT (NZ)- Nice filly going through her grades and continues to present well. Not over the top yet but not a lot of improvement to come post this race.
5. MY TRUE LOVE- Strong Fastnet rock filly. She is very forward today. Expecting good performance but I won’t follow past this race.
6. INVINCIBLE GEM- Lovely loose walking filly she still has improvement to come fitness wise. Next start will be her race.
7. SEVENTHCHIC- Seems to race well on the tight track despite parading that the bigger tracks would suit better. 90% fit. Relaxed.
8. AGHNA- This horse should have stayed in Melbourne. I've had appetisers bigger than this horse.
9. BOLD CARLOTA Get this horse back to the big tracks, wont handle the corner. Coat also a bit too dull.
10. L'ELU interested to see how it will handle the tight track being a Fastnet. Nice horse, presents fit and coat in good order.
Race 4 - 2:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)
1. BEAU TIRAGE- First I've seen this prep but I do know the horse. One run short, can back it under suitable conditions next start.
2. ATOM EVE- Good order, definitely had a lot of work put in and punters on course can’t get on fast enough. 2nd pick in the yard.
3. FREE STANDING- At top of game now. No knocks and behaving himself in the yard. Top pick.
4. GRAND ROUGE- Scratched.
5. RICCI ROYAL- Scratched.
6. YEATMAN- Others parading much better and has strapping high on back leg. No.
7. LION OF AFRICA - Scratched.
8. HESCO GOLD- one run short of peak fitness but gets soft draw here to help.
9. DRAMATICO- looks like a pony.
10. EXITOZO- Long striding horse however won’t like this track at all.
11. TIGER BY THE TALE- Led by Clerk of the course which I don’t like but condition wise is in ok order with the dappled coat on.
12. RIBANDS- Should just put this horse back on the float. Nervous wreck.
13. DALMATIA PRINCE- Not fit yet, needs at least 2 runs.
14 L'ELU- scratched.
Race 5 - 3:05PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1900 METRES)
1. RUSTIC MELODY- She always parades well which is a trap for many on course punters. Again she looks well today.
2. ADMIRAL JELLO - Top pick from the yard today. In good order. Fit, no knocks.
3. UNBIASED- Leave me out of this horse. If this wins today I'll give up the punt. Not a 1900m horse at all and will hate the tight turns.
4. BURNING ENERGY (NZ)- Great order, wearing its dappled coat today. Very fit and on appearance distance is not an issue. 2nd pick in the yard.
5. COLLAR (NZ)- was 50's a few starts ago here and doesn’t look much better today.
6. LIAPARI (NZ)- 35 days between runs so no natural improvement since I saw it last. I do however like this horse however I do not like the gap between runs and up in distance combo.
7. MANHATTAN SON- Outclassed here. Looks a miler to me and not moving that great.
8. OBSIDIAN (USA) - Haven't seen this horse this prep yet but know it well. Fitness wise he is almost there but also needs another run for his coat to come through.
9. TRADTRI (NZ)- Pen job this horse. Is melting in the mounting yard.
10. PROMAS- This is the best this horse has paraded this prep. Not really one I follow but good for this horse today.
11. ONE TOUCH- looks like someone has been eating to many Xmas Mince pies. Fat and warm. No.
Race 6 - 3:40PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)
1. DANCE ON STARS (NZ)- Condition wise much better today and dappled coat coming through but few small negatives noticed from a behavioural perspective.
2. BERRY DELICIOUS- scratched.
3. ONEMOREZETA- In very good order. Top pick from the yard. Very tricky gate but fitness wise in good order.
4. LOYALTY MAN- Not your classic Canterbury type horse but the horse is fit.
5. ALL CERISE- Parades poorly today. Spending too much energy before it gets out on the track.
6. DUCA VALENTINOIS (IRE)- Paraded best I've seen last start but is not parading as well today. End of prep?
7. HIMALAYA DREAM (FR)- Still needs this run. Should be ready to go next start.
8. REDOUTABLE HEART- Parading poorly today. Very warm in the yard and coat very dull.
9. GOLD AMBITION- Good improvement between runs and the best I've seen this preparation. Not really suited by the track but in good order.
10. HETTY HEIGHTS- Continues to parade well and today is no different but is racing below its best. No knocks from the yard.
Race 7 - 4:20PM CANTERBURY CLASSIC (1200 METRES)
1. BALL OF MUSCLE- In good order here. Had enough work put into it.
2. BIG MONEY- Still needs this run, carrying a little excess but aren't we all this time of year.
3. SHIRAZ- Thought he paraded slightly better last start. Maybe time to retire?
4. STRAWBERRY BOY- Could do a body double for Santa. Needs 3 runs.
5. BOSS LANE- Needs a couple of runs to be fit.
6. FLIPPANT- In great order this horse despite 60 days between runs. Gate only issue.
7. DECISION TIME- Old decision time used to parade well despite his age. Not today. Looks tired.
8. SIRBIBLE- Cannot fault today from the mounting yard. Looks in good order and should appreciate firmer surface. Top pick.
9. HIS MAJESTY- Paraded better last start, getting tad warm today. No doubt will look a winner at some stage and then stop.
10. I AM ZELADY- Looks fat.
11. PRINCEFAMOUS (NZ)- Little thing but for the first time I've seen is getting warm and displays key negatives. No.
12. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE- Looks average at best today. 6 lengths below best.
13. GRUNDERZEIT- Normally paraded picture perfect and great condition but getting quite warm around the neck today.
14. LE CORDON BLEU- I'm off today. Normally parades in great order and today getting warm. Looks fit though.
15. DENPURR- Will go right back but this horse presents in almost perfect order 1st up.
16. VOILER (EMERG) – Scratched.
17. WEATHERLY (EMERG)- Scratched.
Race 8 - 5:00PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
1. WAR JET- Needs a couple runs. Not fit yet.
2. AVONACO- Hasn’t improved at all since first up run. No.
3. DISGRACEFUL- Another that needs this run.
4. ISORICH- Hasn’t improved but hasn’t gone backwards in the yard either. Should run ok.
5. ART NOUVEAU- Needs at least a couple of runs. Big belly on him.
6. PETROSSIAN- 50 runs in this prep and still looks too big.
7. CHOICE WE HAD- No improvement but hasn’t gone backwards either. Very fit and expect to see in finish. 2nd best in the yard.
8. DARK EYES- Scratched.
9. GOT UNDERS- 130 days between runs but looks forward enough. Displays one key negative in the yard however.
10. DEPOLY - Great order. Top pick from the yard. 3 lengths improvement between runs, will go close.
11. NOBLE JOEY- The 3 weeks between runs has not been kind on Noble Joey.
12. BOGIE- Scratched.
13. NICCOLANCE- Lot of time for this horse but he is a pen job today. Warm, agitated and not focused. Is pretty fit however.
14. STATIC LIFT- Scratched.
15. MEDITERRANEAN- Been gelded this boy. Beautiful animal and looks screwed down for this.
Race 9 - 5:40PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
1. FRILL SEEKING- Surprisingly more forward than I suspected although its only 63 days between runs.
2. KINSHACHI- Scratched.
3. ALLEZ CHIVAL- Parading well below best here and is getting warm in the yard also.
4. SECRET TRAIL- Scratched.
5. FIFTYSHADESOFGREY- For mine this horse performs better with a bit more give in the ground.
6. IN HER TIME- in great order. Good improvement between runs and looks relaxed and focused. Top pick from the yard.
7. PIENKNA- Parades better than price suggests. One for the exotics.
8. TREE OF JESSE- Scratched.
9. MAGIC OF DREAMS- Scratched.
10. SHAHRAZAD- Like this horse however is short of a run and mildly warm in the yard. Will improve and can follow.
11. BEL SELENE- Scratched.
12. ROEINDA- horse always parades pretty well. Never fat and never screwed right down. Deserves a win soon.
13. RAIMENT- 15 days since her last start win here. Holding that condition well. Hasn’t improved but hasn’t needed to as doesn’t carry a lot of excess condition. 2nd pick from the yard.
14. NAHEMA (NZ)- Walks around like I do on Sunday mornings. No chance.
15. MADAME GISELLE- Very warm today. Pen job for mine.
16. SUSPENDERS (EMERG)- Scratched.