Joshua Parr and Bjorn Baker have combined with Caballus (+700) making it back-to-back wins to start the new campaign, smashing his rivals in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
The change of stables has seemingly done the trick for the son of I Am Invincible, with the Bjorn Baker barn unlocking the best of this three-year-old colt.
He was forced to do it the hard way on Saturday, as Caballus sat three-wide without cover for the duration of the 1200m journey, but it didn’t seem to affect his ability to sprint when asked by Joshua Parr, as the field simply couldn’t match motors with the eventual winner.
All the money came for Moravia (+250), who was backed into favouritism with leading horse racing bookmakers. and had all the map favours according to punters pre-race, and that’s exactly how things unfolded, as he and previous Group 1 winner Griff (+450) strode to the front on a moderate tempo.
It left Caballus stranded, while the only filly in the race, Makarena (+400), tracked the eventual winner every step of the way, racing into a comfortable second-place finish.
2024 Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes Replay – Caballus
The stunning performance of Caballus now has the Bjorn Baker barn targeting bigger targets in the future, as he spoke about in his post-race assessment.
“Well, he’s as good a looking horse,” said Baker.
“He’s the second best horse I’ve ever trained after Ozzmosis. I was very lucky. Darby Racing have been unbelievably good to me. He’s been an absolute pleasure to train. I was lucky to be the benefactor of a ready made horse. It’s been very straight-forward and everything’s worked out well. He is a very, very nice horse.
“The aim when we bought him was to go to the Inglis Three-Year-Old race at Flemington, so I don’t think we’ll divert from that. It’s a $1 million race and then we might have a race like the Arrowfield Sprint.”
Every other runner engaged in this event was first-up, which Parr alluded to in his confidence hopping aboard Caballus.
“I thought today, the best way for me to take advantage of this horse having a run under his belt compared to his opposition was to the as close as I could, comfortably,” said Parr.
“So pre-race I made sure I was pretty adamant that I was going to press forward a little bit, all within reason.
“Obviously we didn’t get the cover but with that south-easterly blowing we’re running down wind down the side and he did no work to the 400m. From the top of the straight I knew with this horse’s turn of foot and with his race-fitness as well, there was no way they were going to beat him.”