Overpass claims inaugural running of The Quokka

Overpass held on bravely to claim The Quokka. Photo: Western Racepix

The Bjorn Baker-trained Overpass has held off the fast-finishing Amelia’s Jewel to claim the inaugural edition of The Quokka.

Having set a breakneck tempo out in front, the NSW-based Overpass kept finding under urgings from Josh Parr to hold off three-year-old filly Amelia’s Jewel by the barest of margins.

Baker had opted to bypass the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes on Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick on a heavy surface with Overpass, instead opting to keep him fresh for Saturday’s $4.5 million race at Ascot.

Overpass managed to kick clear in the home straight, but was left vulnerable inside the final 50m with Simon Miller’s Amelia’s Jewel coming from last to provide a grandstand finish.

Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s Bella Nipotina made her run with Amelia’s Jewel, but could finish no better than third, whilst Henry Dwyer’s Asfoora stuck on for fourth having gone toe-to-toe with Overpass in running.

However, it was all honours the winner with Overpass netting connections $2 million for his win.

The Quokka 2023 Replay – Overpass

Bjorn Baker was clearly ecstatic post-race and looks set for a big night ahead with connections.

“It worked out beautifully, he is a very good horse fresh,” Baker said about his star sprinter Overpass.

“Her run (Amelia’s Jewel) was phenomenal, it’s the luck of the draw, but he has been a great horse.

“Fresh-up he came second to Nature Strip and last time he beat Anamoe last autumn.

“Josh (Parr) was very confident today.

“It’s going to be a big night tonight.”

Josh Parr is a nine-time Group 1 winning jockey, but post-race it was easy to see that Overpass’ win in The Quokka is right up there with the best moments of his career.

“What a thrill to come here to WA and take out the inaugural Quokka,” the winning hoop said.

“I had a horse prepared immaculately for me, I grew so much confidence once I saw him in the yard.

“Once I found the front he was always going to be hard to run down.”

“I got to to the pull-up and I thought I lost the race”

Following the win, Overpass now takes his overall prizemoney to $3,682,400, with plenty more opportunities on the horizon for Bjorn Baker’s progressive sprinter.

Online bookmakers are yet to budge on the $51 quote on offer for Overpass to claim The Everest in the spring, having finished sixth in the race last year.

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