New Zealand trainer Murray Baker is preparing for a return to Melbourne with two horses which provided him Group One wins last spring.
Turn Me Loose leaves New Zealand on Sunday for a first-up tilt at the Group One CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 13 after a barrier trial win at Avondale on Tuesday.
And Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan is ready to trial ahead of a possible assault on next month’s Australian Cup.
Turn Me Loose, who scored at Seymour and Moonee Valley before winning the Group One Emirates Stakes at Flemington in November, defeated Volkstok’n’barrell in a 1200m trial on Tuesday.
“I don’t know if he’s improved but he’s going well and we’re happy with that,” Baker told Melbourne radio station RSN.
After the Orr Stakes, Turn Me Loose will head to the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield before his campaign is switched to Sydney with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick his goal.
“We hope he’ll get 2000 metres but he’s never raced right-handed in his 11 career starts,” Baker said.
“Avondale is right-handed so we should have no worries about him going that way.”
After his trial next week, Baker said a decision would be made on where Mongolian Khan begins his campaign.
Mongolian Khan missed the Melbourne Cup after a colic attack.
The Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick or the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on February 27 are possible first-up assignments.