Bjorn Baker is uncertain how much more Cantonese can do this preparation and is just happy to be along for the ride.
Since being transferred to Baker’s Warwick Farm stable earlier in the year, Cantonese has racked up five wins from seven starts and on Saturday claimed his third in the metropolitan area at Rosehill.
With a confident Jenny Duggan aboard, the five-year-old sat just off the leader L’Esprit ($31) for much of the Ascend Sales Trophy Handicap (2000m) and lived up to his $3 favouritism to take over in the straight and travel sweetly to record a solid win.
Moriarty ($8) ran on fairly to finish 1-1/4 lengths second with Iggi Pop ($5) also doing his best work late for third, another 2-1/4 lengths away.
The effort told on L’Esprit who weakened to finish last of the eight runners.
“I’ve been in New Zealand all week so I can’t take too much credit and have to thank the team here,” Baker said.
“The horse is in great order. He’s going super and has exceeded my wildest expectations so far.
“I’m not sure how much more we can get out of him. We’ll take it one step at a time and see how he goes over the next few days.”
Duggan has ridden Cantonese to all five of his wins this season and has developed an affinity with the gelding.
“He can do a lot wrong but Jenny knows him well and has worked him out,” Baker said.
The trainer said the Summer Cup on Boxing Day was among the options being considered for Cantonese.
Earlier Golden Sunshine recorded an equally impressive win in the Bloodstock.com.au (1100m), leading all the way under Peter Robl.
It was the filly’s third win from three starts and she will now be given a spell with trainer Rick Worthington eyeing stakes races in the autumn.
“Today was an important step in her development,” Worthington said.
“If she had been beaten it would have been the occasion that got to her.
“She needed to take the next step and she will go down to the farm and enjoy some Southern Highlands sunshine and come back in the autumn.
“She is a horse who feet problems early but now it’s just a matter of keeping her happy.”