Countercurrent on notice to perform

It is crunch time for Countercurrent with the filly’s hopes of racing in the Magic Millions Classic dependant on a winning effort at Rosehill.

Trainer Bjorn Baker set that benchmark for the two-year-old ahead of Saturday’s Merry Christmas ATC Members Handicap (1100m).

Countercurrent won her first start in a four-horse 900-metre race at Queanbeyan on November 13.

She then struggled when sixth in the Magic Millions 2YO Clockwise Classic in Ballarat (1000m) 12 days later.

Baker attributed Countercurrent’s sub-par performance to the soft track and was confident she would fare better on sounder footing in her attempt to qualify for the $2 million 2YO Classic on January 13.

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“She’s back on a decent track, she’s fit, she’ll roll forward and I think she’ll be some chance,” Baker said.

“She’s going to have to win it to warrant a trip to the Gold Coast.”

Baker won the 2014 Magic Millions Classic with Unencumbered.

Countercurrent was among the TAB’s double-figure chances in Saturday’s nine-horse field headed by unbeaten Godolphin filly Gongs ($2.15).

Baker also saddles up $6 joint favourite Impavido for the National Jockeys’ Trust Handicap (2000m) in field of 13 dominated by seven Chris Waller-trained runners.