Crack Me Up ready for Doncaster challenge

Randwick Championships

Crack Me Up can boost the spirits of surrogate trainer Bjorn Baker after a disappointing Dubai World Cup experience.

Baker was in Dubai last weekend to watch Music Magnate run 11th in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint.

The Warwick Farm trainer is hoping for a better result after taking over Crack Me Up’s preparation for Saturday’s Group One $3 million Doncaster Mile at Randwick in February.

Crack Me Up’s Queensland trainer Liam Birchley is not allowed to race horses in NSW pending an inquiry concerning race day treatments in Victoria so connections transferred him to Baker.

Crack Me Up made the ideal first impression for Baker when he won the Group Three Liverpool City Cup (1300m) early last month before running unplaced in the Group One George Ryder Stakes (1500m) won by Winx on March 24.

“The way the race was run it never really suited him but his last couple of hundred (metres) was good,” Baker said.

Jason Collett has had to contend with a sluggish start on both occasions and Baker could not identify a solution.

“It’s a little bit the way he is,” he said.

Crack Me Up gained a ballot exemption for the Doncaster by winning the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in December and Baker was hoping the form out of that race stood up.

“When I had a look at his form and the profiles of Villiers winners I learned they have a good record in the Doncaster,” he said.

Since the exemption was introduced in 2014 the Villiers Stakes winner has never finished worse than the fourth Rudy ran behind Kermadec that year.

Happy Clapper was runner-up to Winx in 2016 and Sense Of Occasion ran third behind It’s Somewhat last year.

Crack Me Up was a $19 chance with the TAB on Friday and Baker hoped the Villiers connection and his unbeaten record at Randwick would defy those odds.

“It’s a very tough race no matter wherever you look and he’s got a pretty ordinary gate (11) but he’s in good order and deserves his chance,” he said.