IN Racing
The Chosen One out to quell second-up record
Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are lining-up The Chosen One in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk | February 11, 2022
The Chosen One. Photo: Peter Rubery

Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are hoping The Chosen One can put an end to his unflattering second-up record when he lines-up in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The son of Savabeel has failed to fire second-up in recent years, albeit against stiff company across the Tasman, and his conditioners are hoping he can continue his winning ways this weekend after his victory first-up in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham last month.

“He has never really fired often second-up, which is a slight concern,” Forsman said.

“It has been in stronger company than what he strikes on Saturday and there might be a bit in that too. 

“He perhaps gets a little bit dour and looking for further but hopefully he can get away with it.

“We have kept him a little bit fresh and hopefully if he can bring his Trentham form then we are confident.”

The Chosen One was able to race handy from his inside draw at Trentham and Forsman said the weather rather than his wide draw of eight will dictate whether he gets a similar run on Saturday.

“It will depend on what the weather does and how the track is playing,” Forsman said. 

“He has got the ability to put himself there from outside, I don’t think there is a heap of speed in the race.

“If the track is true and it is an on-pace sort of day we don’t want to be giving Tiptronic too much of a start, so we will be mindful of that. But the rain will be the deciding factor as to how he is ridden.”

Baker and Forsman have resisted putting the blinkers on The Chosen One this weekend, citing they don’t want to tamper with a winning formula.

“We have kept them (blinkers) up our sleeve to try and get around this flat second-up run (record) and when he won so impressively first-up we were loath to change any gear,” Forsman said.

“We will just stick with what worked for him last time and hopefully he can repeat.”

The Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) remains The Chosen One’s main target this preparation, but Forsman said he could have one final run in New Zealand before heading across the Tasman.

“I would say it is a better than 50/50 chance he will run at Ellerslie in the weight-for-age (Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, 2000m) there and then head to Sydney after that all going well.”

The Cambridge trainers will also line-up a handful of runners on the undercard, with Forsman labelling Spirit Of Baz in the SVS Starting Gates 2100 as the stable’s best chance.

Murray Baker Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman Andrew Forsman The Chosen One Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes Te Rapa Savabeel Gr.1 Thorndon Mile Trentham Gr.1 Sydney Cup Spirit Of Baz