Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker has summed up what many trainers are thinking going into the Tattersall’s Tiara.
Baker has race favourite Champagne Cuddles in the final Group One race of the season at Doomben on Saturday.
Champagne Cuddles has been minor placed in her four attempts at Group One class including thirds at her past two starts in the Kingsford Smith Cup and then the Stradbroke Handicap two weeks ago.
Asked if Champagne Cuddles won on Saturday, would the $13 million The Everest at Randwick on October be on the horizon, Baker had a simple reply.
“I think we (all trainers in the race) would like to be going to The Everest,” Baker said.
He said any race with such prestige and prize money would be worth chasing to get a place.
Baker said while all trainers say they will take the races one at a time, Saturday really would determine Champagne Cuddles’ future plans.
“I would obviously love to finish her three-year-old season with her a Group One winner,” he said.
“You don’t need me to tell you how important black-type is for a filly in regards the breeding barn.”
At her past two starts Champagne Cuddles has been forced to go back looking for cover from wide barriers.
“But she should be able to race closer this time from barrier four,” Baker said.
The Stradbroke Handicap has proven a good lead-up for the Tiara with five of the past 10 winners coming through the race.
Champagne Cuddles, Super Cash (second) and Invincible Gem (ninth) are the three mares backing up this year from the Stradbroke.
Jockey Corey Brown had no doubts he should have run a clear second on Champagne Cuddles to Santa Ana Lane in the Stradbroke.
“If I could have got clear running earlier I would have finished second for sure,” he said.
A filly by top sire Not A Single Doubt, Champagne Cuddles has never finished worse than third in 10 starts and has earned $861,700 prize money.
If she can win on Saturday, Champagne Cuddles will join 2014 Magic Millions Classic winner Unencumbered and 2015 Doomben10,000 winner Music Magnate as million dollar plus earners for the Baker stable.
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