Murray Baker is no stranger to winning Derbys in Australia and his New Zealand stable’s latest Classic hopeful, Weather With You, will begin his Melbourne spring campaign in a maiden at Sandown.
Baker, who now trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman, has four horses in Melbourne for the spring with last season’s Australian Derby winner Jon Snow finishing sixth in his first-up run in Saturday’s $1 million Group One Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
Before then three-year-old gelding Weather With You will be out to break his maiden in Wednesday’s Chandler Macleod Plate (1400m).
Weather With You is in Melbourne with the Victoria Derby (2500m) in early November as his aim and the stable has pinpointed the midweek Sandown race as a suitable kick-off.
“He’s a Melbourne-owned horse and if he measures up we hope he can make the Derby,” Baker said.
Weather With You had three starts in New Zealand as a juvenile for two seconds, including at his most recent start in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in April.
“We like him, that’s why he’s over here” Baker said.
“He’s by Teofilo who is an outstanding sire.
“It’s 1400 metres tomorrow and he’s probably a 1600 to 2000-metre type but it’s a nice race to start off in.”
A Classic double for the stable during the Sydney autumn carnival, when Jon Snow won the Australian Derby and Bonneval the Australian Oaks, took Baker to a record 20 Australian Group One wins for a New Zealand-based trainer.
Baker has had five Derby winners in Australia in the past decade including Lion Tamer in the 2010 Victoria Derby.
Jon Snow (2017), Mongolian Khan (2015), It’s A Dundeel (2013) and Nom Du Jeu (2008) have all won Australian Derbys in Sydney.
Weather With You, to be ridden by Damien Oliver, has drawn barrier 13 in a field of 16.