In a week in which Bjorn Baker waved goodbye to a potential Group One winner, the horse which has given him his sole success at the top level so far has made a winning return to racing.
Three-year-old colt Winning Rupert was sold to Newgate Farm where he will retire to stud after five powerful wins in Queensland from six starts.
Baker’s now-undisputed stable star, Music Magnate won the Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday, the horse’s first run since his Queensland winter carnival preparation during which he captured the Group One Doomben 10,000.
“It’s always a little bit nerve-wracking with a horse like that coming back,” Baker said.
Winning Rupert and Music Magnate have helped boost the stocks of stallion Written Tycoon whose progeny’s value has soared in the past two years.
“I can honestly say he’s the best Written Tycoon in my stable now,” Baker said.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy sat off the leader Ball Of Muscle during the race before shaking Music Magnate up at the 400m mark.
With a sustained rather than explosive sprint, Music Magnate drew away from his five rivals to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
The Joe Pride-trained pair Kuro ($4.40) and Ball Of Muscle ($6.50) filled the placings.
Music Magnate was a $45,000 yearling from the New Zealand Bloodstock sale and has now won more than $940,000.
“Those sales are this week so hopefully we can get another few cheap buys that go on to succeed as well as this guy has,” Baker said.
While Music Magnate was originally going to have a short spring preparation, Baker aborted those plans when he returned from a spell with a virus.
“As much as you want to push on when they have setbacks I’ve found the easiest and best thing to do is to be patient,” Baker said.
Music Magnate is likely to have a short let-up before returning with his sights on the Group One TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 1.
Baker all but ruled out a possible clash with Winx in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick on February 11.
The stable brought up a race-to-race double with Embley taking out the 2000m benchmark handicap.