Unbeaten colt Winning Rupert has returned to Brisbane where he will try to keep his record intact and put himself in line for a lucrative bonus.
Trained in Sydney by Bjorn Baker, Winning Rupert has raced twice, both times in Queensland for a debut win at the Sunshine Coast followed by the Group Two Champagne Classic at Doomben.
He runs in a $100,000 race for three-year-olds at Eagle Farm on Saturday, the first leg of a three-race series including the Gold Edition Plate and the Vo Rogue Plate which offers a $200,000 bonus to any horse that can win all three.
“The triple crown races look ideal for Winning Rupert because they are set weights and he is a Group Two winner,” Baker said.
“They are also the perfect lead-in to the Magic Millions Guineas in January.”
Baker has carefully managed Winning Rupert’s career, giving him three barrier trials before sending him to Brisbane.
“We were going to take him to Melbourne for the spring but that didn’t work out. So it has been our aim to take him north for the summer,” he said.
Winning Rupert has won all three trials with race jockey Jeff Lloyd flying to Sydney on November 22 to ride him in his most recent.
“His trials have been good and so is his trackwork so I would disappointed if he doesn’t race well on Saturday,” Baker said.
Baker is also hoping for a Group Three win at the meeting with Coolring.
The six-year-old was among the favourites for the Keith Noud Quality at Eagle Farm two weeks ago but laboured into eighth placed behind Too Good To Refuse.
“Coolring just didn’t seem to handle Eagle Farm last time,” Baker said.
“His first-up run when fourth behind Kaepernick at Randwick was good. He has raced well in Queensland before winning the Prime Ministers Cup and finishing second in a Weetwood.”
The stable’s promising two-year-old Goodfella will miss Eagle Farm and run instead in Sydney.
“He is a Magic Millions horse and he will need to win to be a chance of heading to Queensland for the Two-Year-Old Classic,” Baker said.
Baker won the $2 million race with Unencumbered in 2014.
Meanwhile, trainer Gerald Ryan did not accept with either of his nominations for the George Moore Stakes i- Bachman and Inz”N”out.
“They look better placed in the Starlight Stakes at Rosehill. Bachman will head up there later for races like the Magic Millions Cup,”‘ Ryan said.