Blinkers a positive for Drachenfels says Baker
He doesn’t know where and he doesn’t know when but Bjorn Baker is adamant the enigmatic Drachenfels is on the verge of an overdue win.
The talented six-year-old has been a nemesis for punters, luring them in with eye-catching performances but struggling to land a knockout blow, his strike rate a modest four wins from 26 starts, the most recent in December 2017.
His record has given punters cause to question if he’s genuine, and while many have given up on the former Godolphin horse, Baker hasn’t.
He has made several key changes ahead of Drachenfel’s next assignment in the ATC Thank You Owners Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday and reckons his persistence will pay off sooner rather than later.
“Believe it or not, I believe he’s going to win one of these races and when he does, he’ll win it really well,” Baker said.
“It’s just a matter of picking the right race.
“He’s running well, he still looks great and the blinkers go on, which I think is a big positive.”
The trainer has also stepped the horse 200m up in trip and envisages the distance rise helping him settle closer to the speed and within striking distance of the leaders.
In fact, rather than worry Drachenfels will again prove his own worst enemy, Baker thinks the biggest danger could come in the form of stablemate Shock Alert.
A son of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, Shock Alert was beaten just over four lengths when he resumed on an unsuitable heavy track a month ago.
While Baker hopes for a better surface on Saturday, he feels the gelding could feature regardless of the conditions.
“We are hoping for a dry track for him but we’re at the stage where we also have to run,” Baker said.
“His first run was very good and the way he’s going and the way he looks, even on a wet track he wouldn’t be completely out of it, but on a dry track he’ll be right in the finish.”
The Randwick meeting will be the first metropolitan program of the new racing season.