Songlike was outclassed when challenged to make her racing debut in a black-type race, but trainer Bjorn Baker believes a maiden win beckons in lower class company at Canterbury.
The filly will have the third start of her preparation at Wednesday’s meeting and after two trial wins and seconds at Hawkesbury and Warwick Farm, Songlike is poised to make the step up in the 3YO Maiden (1100m).
Baker broke with convention when he put Songlike in the Group Two Sweet Embrace Stakes at Randwick in February, when she was bogged down on a heavy track before finishing last, 23 lengths adrift of One More Honey.
“That’s yesterday’s newspaper,” Baker said.
“She’s running well this time in. She’s worked well and drawn one with Tim Clark, so that’s an ace.”
Songlike’s last-start second was behind Group Three-placed Alizee on August 2.
She was listed as the $2.40 favourite with the TAB on Tuesday and Baker also expects a decent showing from his other two runners.
In-form four-year-old mare Irithea is chasing her third straight win and first at metropolitan level, in a Benchmark 72 Handicap (1200m).
“She’s claiming with (with apprentice Jean Van Overmeire) and she’s drawn ideally (2),” Baker said.
Baker also has a high opinion of another four-year-old mare, Lubiton, who resumes after an 18-week spell from barrier one as the $3 favourite for the Benchmark (70) (1250m).
“First-up is a question mark but she’s drawn ideally (2) and she’s got no weight. Jean claims (3kg) on her,” Baker said.
Lubiton’s rivals include $3.40 chance Parlay Vous, the first runner for John O’Shea since he left Godolphin in late April.
The now Randwick-based trainer remains embroiled in a strangles inquiry emanating from his time at Godolphin.