Early money has continued to flow for New Zealand galloper Turn Me Loose ahead of his first-up run in the CF Orr Stakes.
Since the barrier draw for the Group One race at Caulfield on Saturday, Turn Me Loose has shortened from $6 to $4.80 and is challenging Lucky Hussler ($4.60) for favouritism.
Turn Me Loose hasn’t raced since winning the Emirates Stakes at Flemington last November but is in top order according to his regular rider Opie Bosson.
“He’s grown up a bit and I can feel that riding him,” Bosson said.
“He showed in his trial that he’s starting to relax a little bit now and seems to be going the right way.”
Turn Me Loose has won six of 11 starts with a further four placings.
His only unplaced performance came first-up in the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings last August and he’s yet to win fresh.
“I can’t fault him this time in but you have to be mindful of his fresh-up record that he needs a run or so to come right,” Bosson said.
“But his work has been good, his trial was good and really I couldn’t be any happier with him.”
Bosson enjoyed a profitable Melbourne spring, winning the Caulfield Cup on Turn Me Loose’s stablemate Mongolian Khan before a suspension kept him out of the Emirates Stakes meeting.
Turn Me Loose led throughout when successful in his three wins in Melbourne last campaign, but trainer Murray Baker said the four-year-old didn’t have to lead in his races.
He said Turn Me Loose had gate speed and that puts him straight up on the pace.
What Baker didn’t count on is the Orr having a capacity field of 18 runners with 13 individual Group One winners.
“We miscalculated a bit there,” he said.
“It’s an extraordinary field but we wouldn’t be lining up if we didn’t think he was ready.”
Baker intends to head to Sydney with Turn Me Loose following the Futurity Stakes on February 27 where he holds nominations for the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes during The Championships.
Adelaide galloper Hucklebuck ($15) is a likely scratching after drawing the widest gate.