February 26, 2014Trainer Bjorn Baker says Golden Slipper-bound Unencumbered is best two-year-old

Trainer Bjorn Baker says Golden Slipper-bound Unencumbered is best two-year-old

Chris Roots

Bjorn Baker believes he has the best two-year-old colt in the country and is unconcerned Unencumbered will go into April’s Golden Slipper at his ninth start.

The trend has become less is more with juveniles but the son of Testa Rossa has already had six starts for five wins, including the Magic Millions Classic.

Baker’s final push to the Golden Slipper with Unencumbered starts with Saturday’s Silver Slipper and he will use the Todman Stakes as final lead-up.

“He has a great ability to recover and an incredibly relaxed demeanour,” Baker said

“He takes it all in his stride and enjoys his racing. There have been times when have decided to race him instead of trial because he handles it so well,” he said.

“He has amazed me with the way that he comes back from every run and I have to say he has improved again from the Gold Coast with that little break.

“There is no doubt in my mind he is the best colt in the country.”

Baker admitted to being impressed by Earthquake’s Blue Diamond win but still has enormous faith in his colt. The unbeaten filly is the $2.80 Golden Slipper favourite ahead of Unencumbered, which is an $8 chance.

“She’s pretty good but I don’t need to worry about her because I have a pretty good one of my own,” Baker said.

“Any race you go into with him you have to extremely confident.

“I think if we turn up with him fit and well, he is one to beat.”

Unencumbered’s regular jockey, Nathan Berry, left for Singapore on Sunday but will be back to ride Unencumbered at his next three engagements.

“He has been a part of the team and we wouldn’t want anyone else to ride him if Nathan is available,” the Kiwi horseman said.

Berry is excited about the return of Unencumbered: “He is the sort of horse that will make the flight home feel like it is only about an hour,” he said.

The Silver Slipper will draw together a group of unbeaten two-year-olds, including Gai Waterhouse’s Breeders Plate winner Law, Maribyrnong Trial winner Risen From Doubt from the Tony McEvoy yard, and smart fillies Mossfun and possibly Memorial from the Darley camp.

Baker also reported It’s A Dundeel had settled into his Australian home well at his Warwick Farm stable. The classy four-year-old will be one of the stars of the Randwick barrier trials on Monday when he steps out in the first heat, which includes Equator.

It’s A Dundeel was deposed as favourite for April’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes after Fiorente’s return win in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

T.J. Smith favourite Zoustar will have his second barrier trial this preparation against Whittington, Va Pensiero and Barbed.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/trainer-bjorn-baker-says-golden-slipperbound-unencumbered-is-best-twoyearold-20140223-33ahj.html#ixzz2uORviNHz

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