Baker keen on prospects of new stable addition

Starspangled Rodeo makes a winning debut from the Bjorn Baker stable at Canterbury Park Photo:

A gritty victory last Wednesday by recent stable addition Starspangled Rodeo (Teofilo) has trainer Bjorn Baker excited about the immediate prospects for the former New Zealand galloper.

The Teofilo five-year-old won three of his five local starts under the name Rhinestone Cowboy for former trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman before transferring to the Mornington stable of young expat Kiwi Joseph Waldron when he set up his new base there.

Under the name Starspangled Rodeo he placed in two of his three starts for Waldron before making his way to Baker earlier this year.

A pair of trial victories had Baker believing a winning debut was on the cards at Canterbury Park on Wednesday and despite having to lump the topweight of 62.5kgs, Starspangled Rodeo had enough class to salute first-up for Baker over the 1250m journey.

“He was very good and it was a big effort with the weight after losing his momentum on the corner,” Baker said.

“He had trialled really well around a horse called Three Beans that won well at Newcastle on Saturday while Ilwendo, who placed second in the Gosford Cup (Listed 2000m) yesterday was also in one of the trials he won.

“It’s easy to say in hindsight but the trial form was good and he’s a big, strong horse with a lot going for him.”

Baker will adopt a patient approach with his new recruit who be believes can measure up in better company once he steps up to a middle-distance contest.

“There’s not a lot around for him so you won’t see him again until Rosehill at the end of the month,” he said.

“He’s definitely a horse that is going to get better over further but he’s progressive and an exciting horse to have in the stable.

“I definitely think he is a horse who will go on to better things.”

Baker was also delighted with the resumption of New Zealand-bred galloper Crack Me Up (NZ) (Mossman) at Royal Randwick on Saturday where the rising seven-year-old stormed home for a close up fourth behind the promising Snitz in the Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) in his first run for Baker since transferring from the Queensland stable of Toby and Trent Edmonds.

Crack Me Up, who numbers the Gr.2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) amongst his six career victories, is being aimed at a return to Queensland for the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.

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