Baster gets Sydney call-up for light rides

The scramble for jockeys to ride at the new minimum weight in Sydney has given Melbourne’s Stephen Baster the call-up at Canterbury.

Baster was booked to ride Weatherly in Saturday’s Canterbury Classic (1200m) but with the colt the second emergency for the Listed race he has also been named as the jockey for the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Denpurr at 53kg.

However should Weatherly find his way into the 14-horse field, the Snowdens will need to find a new rider for Denpurr.

The Snowdens have also booked the Melbourne lightweight rider for Mediterranean in the Handicap.

Baster rode a winner for Weatherly’s trainer Paul Messara in Victoria during the last autumn carnival.

When he was in Sydney last weekend, Messara approached him to partner the colt on Saturday.

“He’s a good horse so I was happy to go up, but he’s second emergency,” Baster said.

“The Snowdens were then struggling to get a rider at 53 kilos so they’ve asked me to ride theirs, but if Weatherly gets a run I’ll go on to him.

“I’ve picked up some other rides and Mediterranean looks a good ride in his race.

“He looks a pretty smart sort of horse.”

Should Weatherly not gain a start in the Canterbury Classic he will instead run in the Schweppes Handicap for which he is the $4.60 third favourite.

Denpurr has met with some support in the Canterbury Classic, firming from $26 to $21 while Weatherly has been easy, drifting from $8 to $11 with His Majesty holding favouritism at $4.60.

Mediterranean has been one of the best supported on Saturday’s program, shortening from $6 into $3.20 favourite.

Baster, who is president of the Victorian Jockeys Association said the new weight range in Sydney sounded good in theory.

“But when it’s changed at acceptance time like it was this week a lot of the boys are left scrambling for rides and it will make it harder for some of the heavyweight boys,” he said.

Baster has also picked up the ride on the Rod Northam-trained L’Elu who has the 53kg minimum weight in the New Year’s Eve Hcp (1250m) for fillies.

The three-year-old has had for starts for two wins and two seconds.

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