The Follow Files: Bjorn Baker filly luckless again

Follow Files blackbook tips

With the opening Group 1 of 2024 just around the corner, the racing has continued to heat up in Victoria and New South Wales as their respective autumn carnivals draw near. We have found runners from the Caulfield and Rosehill meetings last Saturday that we think are worth putting in your blackbook with one of the many bookmakers that offer the service.


Track rating: Good 4 (up to Good 3 after R3)
Rail position: +9m entire circuit

Race 1: Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) | Time: 1:09.83

  • Horse to follow: Barby’s Doll (3rd)

Barby’s Doll broke her maiden in a heat of the Future Stars Series at Pakenham before stepping out in Benchmark 70 grade against her own sex, where she ran home nicely to finish third behind Diamond Decorator. The three-year-old filly settled near the rear of the field and ran home strongly out wide, which turned out to be the inferior part of the track. The times back up how good her run was, as this daughter of Fighting Sun clocked the second-fastest 400m section (22.04s) and the third-fastest 200m section (11.23s) of the meeting.

When to bet: If Jerome Hunter and his team can find a similar class of race over 1200m on a fairer track, we expect Barby’s Doll will return to the winner’s circle in no time at all.

Race 6: Benchmark 100 Handicap (2400m) | Time: 2:29.50

  • Horse to follow: Monbaher (2nd)

Monbaher’s return to the racetrack after 17 months off the scene has gone as well as Matt Cumani could have hoped for his six-year-old gelding. The son of Muhaarar finished fifth at Moonee Valley over 2040m before an impressive performance second-up at Caulfield last Saturday, where he ran home strongly into second place behind Herman Hesse over 2400m. Fortunately, the sectionals back up what we witnessed, as Monbaher clocked the 10th-fastest last 200m (11.41s) of the meeting.

When to bet: Considering that Monbaher was last seen winning the Banjo Patterson over 2600m before his lengthy layoff, there is no doubt that another rise in distance third-up will be the perfect recipe for this gelding. The Benchmark 84 Handicap over 2500m at Flemington on March 9 looks like the ideal race next for this talented stayer.


Track rating: Good 4 (up to Good 3 after R3)
Rail position: +6m entire circuit

Race 10: Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m) | Time: 1:09.38

  • Horse to follow: Stefi Magnetica (3rd)

Although Stefi Magnetica finished 2.4 lengths off the winner, she was one of the worst beats of last weekend as she was blocked for a run and had to change tracks twice before eventually letting down with a blistering finish. This three-year-old filly has gone to another level this preparation, winning at Orange before flashing home to finish second at Flemington prior to the weekend’s unlucky start at Rosehill. The Bjorn Baker-trained sprinter has produced eye-catching runs in her last two, and she is very close to notching her third win.

When to bet: With limited options in Sydney over the next few weeks, Bjorn Baker could potentially send Stefi Magnetica back down to Flemington to compete in a Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1100m, which should suit her perfectly next start.

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