Bjorn Baker believes things are in Addictive Nature’s favour to reward the perseverance of punters in the Apollo Stakes.
Sent out favourite in each of his five career starts, the three-year-old has only lived up to that billing twice, although he has never finished out of the minor placings.
The colt again leads the TAB market for Saturday’s Group Two Apollo Stakes at Randwick and his trainer is upbeat about Addictive Nature’s prospects, and not simply because super mare Winx is no longer a rival.
Baker pinpointed a good track and a step up in distance to 1400 metres as positive factors after his third in the Group Two Expressway Stakes (1200m) on February 3.
“Back on top of the ground is really good for him and up to 1400 should suit. Fitness-wise he’s definitely come on since the Expressway,” Baker said.
Addictive Nature followed Trapeze Artist and Showtime home on soft ground and was blocked for a run in the straight before finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind the winner.
“Trapeze Artist is one of the leading three-year-olds and he wasn’t too far off them,” Baker said.
“There’s no easy races at his level, but he’s going pretty well.”
Addictive Nature is the only three-year-old in the eight-horse field but Baker is happy to run his rising star rather than stick to his own age group in next Saturday’s Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
“He’s up and running and it’s probably the race we’d prefer. The Hobartville could be tougher to win,” Baker said.
He is happy with barrier five and confident new jockey Adam Hyeronimus will quickly bond with the colt.
“Adam’s always positive. We’ll see if we can lead and see what happens,” Baker said.
Hyeronimus replaces Jason Collett who rides the Chris Waller-trained Comin’ Through.
“He meets quite a nice field without it being overly strong for a weight-for-age race,” Hyeronimus said.
“I think Bjorn’s taken the right option.”
Waller also has Irish import Endless Drama in the Apollo Stakes, while all eyes will be on his stablemate Winx when she gallops in a simulated race in a tune-up for the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on March 3.
Winx is a non-starter in the Apollo with connections opting not to run her because of the unavailability of her jockey Hugh Bowman through suspension.