Casino Prince mare Baccarat Baby remains on track for a Group 1 grand-final in the Stradbroke Hcp at Eagle Farm on June 6.
The David Vandyke-trained 4yo was beaten a nose when resuming at Doomben on April 11 and she just peaked in the final stages when runner-up to Silvera at the Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
Baccarat Baby is a homebred for Peter Harris and Matthew Irwin and will use the Wayne Wilson Hcp LR at the Sunshine Coast on May 15 as a dress-rehearsal for the Stradbroke Hcp Gr.1.
“David told us she pulled up okay after Saturday,” Harris said. “She had to carry 59.5kg and isn’t a big horse compared to Silvera.”
Baccarat Baby won the Princess Stakes LR and Sunshine Coast Guineas Gr.3 last season and connections are quietly confident she can rise to another level in 2020. “The coronavirus lockdown might mean it’s only the locals and the prizemoney has been reduced to $350,000,” Harris said. “But every Queenslander wants to win a Stradbroke.”
Baccarat Baby carries a double cross of North American blue-hen Fanfreluche through Vinery sire Casino Prince (Flying Spur) and her dam Meerlust (Johannesburg).
“We breed to race but a Group 1 on the page won’t hurt,” Harris continued. “All going well, Matthew and I would like to keep her in work next season and we’ve also retained her half-sisters by Nicconi and Shamus Award.”
Vandyke has already ridden a Group 1 wave of ups and downs this season with his All Too Hard star Alligator Blood. A heart-breaking loss in the Caulfield Guineas was followed by redemption in the Australian Guineas only to have a cloud currently hanging over that remarkable victory in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
Musicmaker is another 3yo by Vinery sire All Too Hard with Vandyke. Formerly trained by Anthony Freedman at Mornington, she has bloomed in the Sunshine State and was in a world of her own winning the Tulloch House Plate (1200m) at Doomben on April 11.
Made to work for an early lead, she skipped away in the straight to put six lengths between the placegetters. It was one for the black-book and a repeat performance will have connections looking for some black-type during the carnival.
She has been entered for the Battery Wise Hcp (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast this Friday.
Musicmaker was bred by Gerry Harvey and sold for $120,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions. She is raced by Morning Rise Stud owners Robert & Barbara McClure in partnership with agent James Bester who recommended the filly after inspecting her at Baramul Stud.
Her dam Readyor (More Than Ready) won a Keith Mackay Hcp LR at Randwick and is closely related to recent All Too Hard stakes winner Cuba.