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Viktor rewards stable confidence at Ellerslie

29 October 2017, 2:24 p.m.

The Cambridge training duo of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman returned to a familiar position at the head of the National Trainer’s Premiership on Saturday after completing a winning double with Viktor Vegas and Crafty Jess at Ellerslie.

Last season’s premiership winners levelled up to previous leader Kevin Myers when Crafty Jess was successful in a rating 85 1600 metre contest before nudging ahead through impressive rating 65 1400 metre winner Viktor Vegas. It was the four-year-old Tavistock gelding’s second win at just his third start and marked him as a horse to watch over the coming months.

Viktor Vegas Photo: Trish Dunell

“We think a fair bit of him and we were pretty confident he would go well on Saturday,” noted co-trainer Murray Baker.

“His work has been very good and he was ready to run a race first up. He doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground, so I thought he would be able to handle the conditions okay.

“There’s plenty of development left in him so we will take him along slowly and try to get him through the grades before we think about a specific target for him.”

Baker was also impressed with the win of Crafty Jess who has proved a model of consistency throughout an extended campaign.

“She’s a tough little thing who has kept improving and did the job well for us,” he said.

“I don’t think there is any doubt she was helped by the claim as getting down to 51kilograms was a big assist.”

Ridden by Cambridge apprentice Hairi Marzuki, Crafty Jess bided her time at the rear of the field before unleashing a powerful finishing burst out wide to claim her fourth career victory at just her 14th start.

Baker has also confirmed that last season’s Australian Derby winner Jon Snow will take his place in the Gr. 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup on 7 November.

“He has pulled up well from his Caufield Cup run and we will press on to the Melbourne Cup with him,” he said.

“He got knocked over in the run home at Caulfield and we think he deserves his place at Flemington. He is a big horse and having his momentum taken away cost him as he couldn’t pick himself up and sprint.

“The roomy track at Flemington will suit as would some rain if we could get it.”

Baker also confirmed star mare Bonneval would be returning home from Melbourne this week for a brief spell before being aimed at the Sydney Autumn Carnival. – NZ Racing Desk