Bjorn Baker has made an important gear change to his promising three-year-old Prime Candidate as the stable aims to continue the horse’s rapid rise through the grades at Wyong on Thursday.
Prime Candidate will carry blinkers for the first time, with Jason Collett aboard, in the HMA Geotechnical Benchmark 65 (1100m).
The blinkers are on despite the horse winning two of his only three starts including a near faultless all the way win at his last start at Hawkesbury in similar company.
“He is a pretty relaxed dude and I just think the blinkers will help sharpen him up,” Baker said.
“It is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while.
“He is a nice horse and progressing through the grades well and I think we will be heading to a city race with him shortly.”
Prime Candidate is a half-brother to Coolring which Baker won seven races with before the horse was switched to Joe Cleary at Queanbeyan. At his second start for that stable Coolring ran second in the National Sprint in March.
Baker will also run Classify (Tim Clark) in the HMA Wear Solutions Benchmark 70 as the filly resumes off a lengthy spell.
“She is a progressive filly and had a good break and then was a good fourth in a trial at Canterbury against some nice horses,” Baker said.
“I expect her to run a very well.
“She is drawn well.”
In fact, both Prime Candidate and Classify have drawn barriers one in their respective races.
Not so the unraced Baker trained The Towers which drew the outside barrier in the HMA Instrumentation Maiden and may miss this race to run at Muswellbrook on Friday with Greg Ryan aboard.
Brenton Avdulla was to have ridden The Towers but the possible scratching will leave him with seven rides, all strong chances.
He goes to Wyong with his confidence high again after his winning double at Hawkesbury last Saturday.
Although Avdulla had not had a city winner since the Golden Slipper he had been riding well at the provincials including a treble at the previous Wyong meeting on April 19.
Avdulla has three rides for James Cummings and Godolphin and one each for Chris Waller, Kim Waugh, John Thompson and Kris Lees.
Waugh has two strong chances, King Hewitt (Avdullla) in the HMA Power Generation Class One and Oxford Angel (Tim Clark) in the HMA Materials Maiden.
1-12.05, HMA GROUP 3YO MAIDEN, 1600m: TUNERO 1, Cormac 2, Whitney’s Star 3, Shiitake 4.
2-12.40, HMA INSTRUMENTATION MAIDEN, 1350m: DESERT LORD 1, Spin Bowles 2, Smiling Manolito 3, Sugarland Express 4.
3-1.20, HMA POWER GENERATION CLASS ONE, 1600m: KING HEWITT 1, Banner Season 2, Beauty Kanas 3, Bodhi Blue 4.
4-1.55, HMA MATERIALS HANDLING MAIDEN, 1100m: OXFORD ANGEL 1, Karaage 2, Khitaamy 3, Gambeson 4.
5-2.35, HMA FLOW & INDUSTRIAL MAIDEN, 2100m: NOTHING TOO HARD 1, Britannicus 2, Dashing Special 3, The Warlord 4.
6-3.10, HMA GEOTECHNICAL BENCHMARK 65, 1100m: PRIME CANDIDATE 1, Wander 2, Sedition 3, Teodosio 4.
7-3.50, HMA WEAR SOLUTIONS BENCHMARK 70, 1100m: ALASSIO 1, Progression 2, Classify 3, Tapavino 4.
8-4.25, HMA GTECH CYCLONES CLASS TWO, 1350m: CONQUEST 1, Seine Net 2, Thy Kingdom Come 3, Excelling 4.
Best Bets: Desert Lord, Prime Candidate.