The future race options for star colt Winning Rupert are many but trainer Bjorn Baker is in no hurry to make firm plans.
Winning Rupert is aiming to make it five wins from five starts in the Group Three Vo Rogue Plate (1300m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The colt has already won $361,000 but can add a $500,000 bonus to the $128,000 first prize if he wins the Vo Rogue Plate.
Baker believes Winning Rupert is ready to step up to 1300m for the first time.
“I have no doubt his best distance as an older horse will be around the 1200 metre mark. But he has had two barrier trials and two starts this time in,” Baker said.
“There is no reason he won’t run a strong 1300 metres and then get out to the 1400 of the Magic Millions Guineas.”
Baker doesn’t believe Winning Rupert has to lead in his races and can be ridden behind the pace.
“His natural pace has taken him to the lead at his past two starts but in his trials we have been able to ride him in behind,” Baker said.
“He has drawn barrier five on Saturday so I will leave it up to Jeff (jockey Lloyd).”
Winning Rupert ran a course record when he won his first start from a spell at Eagle Farm and then the second fastest 1200m at Doomben at his most recent win.
Baker said there were several options for Winning Rupert in Sydney during the autumn but the decision to shorten the distance of the Doomben 10,000 was also tempting.
“Obviously a Group One race which is now at 1200 metres and at weight for age would be a possible choice,” he said.
Baker will have Magic Millions bound two-year-old Good Fella in the Group Three B J McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
Good Fella moved into the $2 million Magic Millions Classic field with a win at Canterbury at his last start.
Baker has put a lot of hard work into Good Fella who seems to have overcome his trait of missing the start.
“I think he might make a Sires’ or even J J Atkins horse at 1600 metres later in the season. Baker said.
“But he will be strong at the finish and there should be plenty of pace in both Saturday’s race and the Millions.”