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Weather With You could deliver on a long-range plan in the Victoria Derby

Weather With You could deliver on a long-range plan when he bids to give prominent New Zealand trainer Murray Baker a second Victoria Derby at Flemington.

Baker won the 2010 Derby with Lion Tamer when he trained in partnership with his son Bjorn, now a successful Sydney trainer.

Now teamed with Andrew Forsman, Baker has trained the winners of 21 Group One race in Australia, more than any other New Zealander.

He saddles up Weather With You in Saturday’s $1.5 million Classic (2500m) having pinpointed the staying feature for three-year-olds as the gelding’s target back in April.

That was after Weather With You finished second in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie for two-year-olds.

“He ran second to a very good horse and ran on well,” Baker said.

“The Champagne Stakes has been a great measuring stick in past years for horses going on.

“Jezabeel won it and ended up winning the Melbourne Cup. Lion Tamer won it. Kibbutz ran third in it (2007) and went on to win the Victoria Derby.

“A lot of good horses have come out of that race.”

Last year the Baker and Forsman stable’s VRC Oaks placegetter Eleonora finished second in the Champagne Stakes.

Weather With You has been in Melbourne all spring and claimed his first win of the campaign in the Geelong Classic (2200m) eight days ago.

It indicated the gelding has hit form at the right time.

“I hope so because timing is everything,” Baker said.

“It’s just whether he’s got the class.

“There’s obviously a couple of horses in there like David Payne’s horse (Ace High) who is a pretty good animal, I think.

“And Trent (Busuttin) knows how to train a Derby winner. He’s trained two.

“But I think he will stay.”

Baker believes the addition of blinkers at Geelong made a difference and Weather With You wears them again in the Derby.

“I’ve got to say I was very happy with that run at Geelong because they all had their chance to pick him up,” Baker said.

“We’re confident that he can run a good race.

“We certainly think he can probably get the distance and that’s something in his stead.”

Along with Lion Tamer in the Victoria Derby, Baker has also trained the winners of four of the past 10 Australian Derbys in Sydney.

“This guy is not as good as Lion Tamer. He hasn’t got that brilliance,” Baker said.

“But he probably sticks, which helps.”

Spring Champion Stakes winner Ace High is the $5 favourite ahead of Tangled and Main Stage at $6.50, while Weather With You is at $7.

Main Stage is one of three chances for co-trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and they also have the first emergency.

 
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