Bjorn Baker has capped an outstanding day at the office by taking out the final race in Sydney, pledging to donate his percentage of Belluci Babe’s prizemoney to the flood appeal in Australia.
The popular trainer won feature races in two states on Saturday, capturing the Inglis Sprint and Bob Hoysted Handicap at Flemington with Overpass and Malkovich respectively, before adding the Gr.3 Wenona Girl Quality (1200m) at Randwick with Per Incanto mare Belluci Babe, who sports the colours of Little Avondale Stud.
After experiencing some anxious moments during the week when floodwaters threatened his Warwick Farm stables, Baker was quick to donate his winning percentage from Belluci Babe's success to those less fortunate.
"I've had a great day and it has been a tough week for a lot of people," Baker said.
"I am going to donate all my winnings in this horse to the flood fund, $10,000 or close to it to the floods."
Baker is making a habit of winning the final race in Sydney and he did it again with Belluci Babe ($3 fav), who dominated throughout to defeat Tricky Gal by 2-1/2 lengths with Never Talk ($3.50) closing late another half-neck away.
“It worked out beautifully. James (McDonald) rode her really well. Big shout out to Sam Williams at Little Avondale Stud in New Zealand. We’ve got the Karaka Sales this week. He was a bit doubtful of running her but I got my way thankfully - Thanks Sam.”
The winner of six races, Belluci Babe has been a model of consistency and thoroughly deserved her Group Three breakthrough after being Group placed on multiple occasions including at her previous start when a narrow second to Expat in the Gr.2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m).
“She is a good mare. I always thought she would get to black type. She got to black type and now she has won a Group race,” Baker said.
“It has been a very special day for the stable. I’ve had a remarkable team and the work they’ve done this week, they’ve been under the pump and done really, really good.”
Winning jockey James McDonald concurred with Baker.
"It's great to win on her. She is so consistent and she deserved it,” McDonald said.
“It was nice to ride a push-button horse like her who deserved that win.”
Belluci Babe was one of three horses syndicated in that year by Little Avondale Stud, with the others including Group One performer Roch 'N' Horse and winning mare Keke Star.
The five-year-old mare is out of the unraced Savabeel mare Savamour, who in turn is out of the Group Three winner and grand producer Sound Lover, dam of a remarkable 11 individual winners, including four individual stakes winners.
The progeny of proven sire Per Incanto will be keenly sought after this week at Karaka, with the Street Cry stallion represented by 23 yearlings in the Book 1 Sale and six in Book 2.