Overpass skipping Newmarket for Arrowfield Sprint run

Overpass wins Inglis Sprint
Joshua Parr returns to the mounting yard aboard Overpass after winning the Inglis Sprint at Flemington. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

After a brilliant win in Saturday’s $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) at Flemington, trainer Bjorn Baker says Overpass will skip this weekend’s Newmarket Handicap and return to Sydney.

The three-year-old was heavily backed in the sprint feature on Saturday, doing enough to defeat a game Spellcatcher over the 1200m, but despite the strength of the victory, the winning trainer isn’t going to look to repeat the dose on March 12.

Overpass has had a brilliant campaign already, defeating Forbidden Love and Anamoe first-up in the Expressway Stakes, before going down to Lost And Running in the Southern Cross Stakes a fortnight later, and then returning to the winner’s circle in the Inglis Sprint.

The son of Vancouver would need to carry just 50kg should he stay in Melbourne for the Newmarket, but he will instead stick to his own age bracket in Sydney on Day 2 of The Championships.

“It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought over the last 24-36 hours, but I think we’re gonna get him back to Sydney,” Baker told Racing.com.

“We’ll go to the Arrowfield Sprint on the second day of The Championships up here.

“As much as anything, if he happened to win that, he may be thought of as a possibility to get into The Everest.”

While Baker admits that Overpass’ record down the Flemington straight is hard to ignore, the trainer said the horse’s future is more important at this stage, with some lofty spring target races in mind.

With The Everest looming as a real possibility for this colt should he drum up interest with slot holders, Baker also hopes to stretch him out over a bit further in another high-stakes race over the Sydney Spring Carnival.

“The other thing I want him going deeper into the autumn to possibly look at getting to the Golden Eagle over 1500m for big money at Rosehill, where of course he won the Expressway Stakes,” he said.

“It’s a longer-term plan – they don’t call me ‘Back-up Baker’ for nothing. I love running them – they can’t earn money in the box, but he’s one horse I want to keep going for sure deeper into the autumn.”

Overpass has already won just shy of $800,000 in his 12-start career, which includes five wins and two runner-up finishes.

He is currently an $8 chance for the Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) on April 9, while he is a $34 chance for The Everest (1200m), which is not until October 15.

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