Mr Tipsy to have dry run
New Zealand stayer Mr Tipsy will be out to prove he is more than just a wet track specialist when he makes his Sydney return in the Kingston Town Stakes at Rosehill.
The Sydney Cup placegetter arrived in Sydney on Tuesday night for his second Australian campaign following a fruitful autumn in which he finished fifth to Fiumicino in The BMW and third to Ista Kareem in the Sydney Cup.
Bjorn Baker, who trains in partnership with his father Murray Baker, accompanied Mr Tipsy on the trip across the Tasman and said the gelding had settled in well.
But while Mr Tipsy’s two autumn runs were both on wet tracks he looks set to strike a firm surface in Saturday’s 2000 metre Group Three feature.
The five-year-old has posted five of his six career wins on rain-affected tracks but he did finish second in this year’s Auckland Cup on a good surface and Bjorn Baker believes Mr Tipsy will prove more versatile than his form might suggest.
"To a degree, a little bit of sting out will always be a bonus for a horse like this but he’s run well on a firm track too," Baker said.
"We’ve had Nom Du Jeu and Harris Tweed who are by Montjeu as well and everyone said they were wet trackers but then they came out and went just as well on the firm tracks.
"This guy is a bit the same, he’s such a genuine horse.
"We’ll find out in time but my gut feel is he will put in a good performance whatever the track."
Mr Tipsy resumed with an encouraging third over 1600 metres at Ellerslie last Saturday week, his first run since the Sydney Cup.
Baker expects him to improve again from the Kingston Town but says if he races up to his autumn form he will be in the finish.
"If he brings that form to the table he should be hard to beat," Baker said.
"He’s really well and he travelled well, he’s still not at his peak though. He’s got a bit of a winter coat so we still expect a bit of improvement but he’s a genuine horse so he should run a good race."
Mr Tipsy will remain in Sydney for the Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) at Randwick on October 3 with the Bakers keen to use the Colin Stephen Quality a week earlier as a springboard into the Group One.
Longer term they are hoping Mr Tipsy can force his way into the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
"Our primary concern is to possibly get a rehandicap for the Cups and get him in," Baker said.
"He’s fully qualified but he’s got 51 kilos so he probably needs a rehandicap."
Stablemate Nom Du Jeu has already been ruled out of the Cups with a recurrence of the cannon bone soreness that plagued him during the autumn and Baker said a decision would be made in the next week or two on whether they would persevere with a Cox Plate campaign for the 2008 AJC Australian Derby winner.