Form expert Dominic Beirne heaps praise on Bjorn Baker’s unbeaten sprinter Winning Rupert

AS Bjorn Baker caught up with Winning Rupert on Thursday, one of the country’s most respected judges said he would have the unbeaten colt favourite in a match race against all of Australia’s best sprinters.

Timeform has lifted Winning Rupert’s rating to 120+, just one pound short of Group 1 winners Divine Prophet and Prized Icon, but former bookmaker and long-time professional analyst Dominic Beirne has assessed him even more highly.

“I match-raced him at weight-for-age against Chautauqua, Astern, Star Turn, Flying Artie and Extreme Choice and based on the projected ratings for those horses at their next start, Winning Rupert was the marginal favourite,” Beirne said on Thursday.

While Baker enjoys hearing others sing the praises of his colt, he’s just trying to get through Saturday week’s $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas, where Winning Rupert is a $1.60 chance with UBET.

“I try not to get too carried away. You take nothing for granted in this game. He’s very exciting and I am grateful to have him in the stable,” he said.



Winning Rupert is a dominant favourite for the MM Guineas on Saturday week. Picture: Grant Peters

After seeing Winning Rupert for the first time in a fortnight on the Gold Coast on Thursday, Baker said the three runs this time in hadn’t appeared to take any toll on him, despite running lightning fast time on each occasion.

“His recovery has been great this time in. His coat has improved since he left Sydney and he’s held his condition really well,” he said.

Winning Rupert is the ace in what is an extremely strong hand for Baker on Millions Day. Two-year-old Goodfella was an eye-catcher at Eagle Farm last week, while Egyptian Symbol will be one of the favourites for the $1 million Magic Millions F&M (1200m).

Egyptian Symbol left Sydney for the Gold Coast on Thursday night.

“She is in career-best form and is a completely different proposition to what she was last year,” Baker said. “She goes into this race with the perfect preparation. I love the three-week and two-day break for her after what was a really soft win at Wyong. The big difference now is that she’s jumping on terms with them and is a lot stronger.



Bjorn Baker caught up with Winning Rupert at the Gold Coast on Thursday.

“Goodfella seems to be a little bit of a forgotten horse but I couldn’t be happier with what he did last week either.”

Baker will also have Off The Rails (Cup), Credit Card Miss (Country Cup) and Dot Painting (Maiden) running at next week’s $10 million day.

“I am really comfortable with how the stable is running in Queensland,” he said. “We have a really good team looking after them, led by Claire Cunningham, and Michael Costa has helped us out a huge amount with the stables.

“Having that in place takes a lot of the usual stresses of travelling horses out of play.”


Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail


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