Collateral has returned to winning form after a blip at Warwick Farm to maintain an excellent strike rate during his first preparation for trainer Bjorn Baker.
An unexpected fourth over 2400m last weekend proved an aberration as the gelding flew home at Rosehill on Saturday, claiming another benchmark handicap after briefly being blocked in the straight.
Tim Clark managed to negotiate traffic for Collateral ($5.50) to run down The Gavel ($12) over the last 50m to score by half a length and give him five wins from his past six starts.
“He really savages the line,” said Baker’s racing manager, Jack Bruce.
“I think the early tempo helped him out – 2400 back to 2000 they bowl it along. When he got that clear run he’s got that good turn of foot. That was something special to watch.”
The five-year-old switched to Baker’s Warwick Farm base from Darlene Duryea in February and since then he has proved his versatility with wins over distances of 1600m to 2000m.
“We gave him a bit of a freshen-up when he arrived and when we first trialled him he was lovely, big and conditioned,” Bruce said.
Collateral is now 11 runs into this preparation and showed no signs of weariness.
“We just tick him over at home. He’s had a lot of racing and he’s just thrived. We couldn’t be happier,” Bruce said.
Clark has been the major beneficiary of Collateral’s superb form after apprentice Nick Heywood had the reins last Saturday.
“He’s had a long campaign but he’s not slowing down. It’s four from four on him now. He’s been a good horse for me.”