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Battleton set for Winx Guineas triumph

29 June 2022

By Glenn Davis

Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker rarely comes north for the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival without heading home a winner of a feature race.

So far, Baker is yet to win a race this winter from limited opportunities.

But, the former Kiwi is hopeful Battleton can end the stable’s dry spell in the Group 3 Winx Guineas at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

Battleton had his first start north of the border when third in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic over 1400 metres at Eagle Farm in late May.

A win would have earned Battleton an automatic start in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap but instead the gelding was tested for the first time over 1600 metres when third to Kiss Sum in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic at Eagle Farm on June 11.

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Baker would love to have had a Stradbroke runner but is looking forward to Battleton firing in the Winx Guineas.

“His two runs up there have been good,” Baker said.

“He’ll be a good chance on Saturday after those runs and the mile suits him.”

However, Baker is keeping a close watch on the weather with rain forecast for Friday and Saturday for the Sunshine Coast region.

“At this stage he’s running but I want to see what the weather is like by Saturday,” Baker said.

Battleton did not race as a two-year-old and has had only seven starts for two wins and four placings.

Brisbane’s early winter rain delayed Battleton’s arrival for the winter carnival when Baker had the Gold Coast Guineas in mind for the three-year-old in May.

“He’s been up and back to Queensland a few times so hopefully he can get some luck this time,” Baker said.

Baker is well known to Queenslanders after claiming his first Group 1 with Music Magnate in the Doomben 10,000 in 2016.

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He also had great success with Unencumbered in the 2014 Magic Millions Classic while Winning Rupert claimed the Group 2 Champagne Stakes during the 2016 winter carnival. 

Champagne Cuddles also won the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas in 2018 before placing at the highest level in both the Kingsford Smith Cup and Stradbroke Handicap's that year.

Winning Rupert went on to become a star the following summer winning the Listed Gold Edition Stakes at Doomben and Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate before his career ended prematurely due to injury. 

A son of Zoustar, Battleton has drawn barrier four and will again be ridden by Nash Rawiller.

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