Bjorn Baker barely welcomed Crack Me Up to his team before heading to Melbourne, leaving Jason Collett to ensure the Doncaster Mile-bound gelding made the ideal first impression for the stable at Randwick.
The in-from jockey at least had background with the four-year-old gelding, having ridden him to victory in the Group Two Villiers Stakes in December.
Baker, who was in Melbourne to watch Addictive Nature run in the Australian Guineas, took over the training of Crack Me Up when Liam Birchley was blocked from racing in NSW while a doping probe in Victoria continues.
“He arrived at 5.07 on Thursday morning. He arrived in immaculate order and we’ve just kept him ticking over,” Baker’s stable representative Jack Bruce said.
“He’s turned up looking magnificent and he raced accordingly.”
Crack Me Up, who gained an exemption into the $3 million Doncaster at Randwick on April 7 when winning the Villiers, coasted to the line a half-length clear of Care To Think, the $2.50 favourite in the Liverpool City Cup.
Burning Passion ($14) was a head back in third.
“When you get a horse like this is these sort of circumstances you just stick to what they’re good at. That was just putting him where he was comfortable and letting him rattle home,” Bruce said.
Collett, who racked up an early treble after saluting on Fui San and Just Shine, knew he was onto a winner a fair way from home on the $17 chance.
“That was very soft. I’ve got to give it to Liam Birchley, he turned up looking a million dollars,” he said.
Trainer Matthew Dunn said Care To Think would now target the Stradbroke Handicap instead of the Doncaster Mile.