It seems every time Stephen Baster gets aboard a Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained runner in a stakes race he rides a winner.
Last week at Flemington Baster teamed with the co-trainers to win the VRC St Leger with Runaway followed by Let Me Sleep On It in the Redoute’s Choice Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Now they will try to do it again in Thursday’s Warrnambool Cup with Scholarly.
The most lightly raced galloper in the Listed race, having had only eight starts, he’ll be chasing a sixth-consecutive win.
Scholarly commenced his winning streak in a maiden at Warrnambool over 1700m last June before Baster won on the gelding at Sandown the following month.
He wasn’t seen again until March winning at Sandown before success there again and then at Cranbourne.
The improvement Scholarly has shown from one campaign to the next has taken Baster by surprise, but now he wouldn’t put anything past the gelding.
“When I first rode him I didn’t think he was much chop,” Baster said.
“He’s just been one of those horses that has improved and improved and improved.
“I don’t know what it is but he’s certainly surprised me.”
Scholarly faces his toughest test on Thursday, rising to 2350m for the time.
Baster doesn’t see the trip being a problem with barrier one more concerning.
“You don’t know how they’ll handle it (distance) until they’ve done it but I don’t think that will be a problem at all,” Baster said.
“It looks his go being a High Chaparral as it seems the further they go the better.
“A concern might be the inside draw and how the track is racing on the day.
“They were getting off the fence on Tuesday so we’ll have to work that out.”
Baster also rides My True Love for Waterhouse and Bott in the Mercedes Benz Handicap.
My True Love finished last at Caulfield on April 21, a run that has the jockey mystified.
The mare will race without blinkers on Thursday.
“She seems to be going well on the track but she was really ordinary the other day,” Baster said.
Waterhouse and Bott also have Valediction contesting the Grand Annual Steeplechase in which he’ll be ridden by Martin Kelly.