Winter Cup favourite Parry Sound might be the headline act for trainer Bjorn Baker but two horses resuming at Rosehill could emerge as surprise packets for the stable.
Baker is in for a busy afternoon with 10 runners across nine races and while he regards Parry Sound as his leading chance, he is also buoyant about the prospects of several runners in support races.
They include Matowatakpe, who kicks off his preparation in the Acy Securities Handicap (1200m) following an underwhelming three-start summer campaign.
However, the horse had shown some earlier promise and Baker said he had returned in much better shape this time around.
“Last time he was very disappointing. He had an ordinary prep after running well first up,” Baker said.
“But I think he’s come back in good order. He looks great and I’m confident he is ready to jump back to his best.
“He’s a horse that has shown ability before so I’m hoping he can get back to that. He’s not out of it on Saturday, he can run a race.”
Baker will saddle up He’s A Hotshot in the same race and believes he can also sprint well fresh but says the horse prefers firm ground and track conditions will be key.
Stablemates Exotic Ruby and Bring The Ransom will round out Baker’s afternoon when they clash in the final event, the former having the advantage of race fitness.
Bring The Ransom is returning after suffering a bleeding attack in December but the mare has twice won first-up and Baker has given her a solid foundation for Saturday’s race.
“She has come back in terrific order, she looks magnificent,” Baker said.
“Even though she has only had the one trial, she has done plenty of work and been in work for a long time, so she’s got a good base and from a good gate she’s not out it.”