WINDJAMMER - remember the name because a star was born at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
Aug 03, 2013
Trainer Bjorn Baker and jockey Hugh Bowman both have very high opinions of Windjammer's potential - and rightly so after he thrashed a quality field of three-year-olds in the National Jockeys Trust Handicap (1100m).
"This is a quality horse, a smashing colt," Baker declared.
"He is seriously fast, very, very fast - possibly one of the fastest horses I have had anything to do with."
Baker said he expected Windjammer to win if the colt ran up to some electrifying track gallops.
"I said to Hughie before the race if trackwork counts for anything, this is the
biggest certainty I have ever saddled up," the trainer revealed.
And so it proved as Windjammer ($7) came from midfield on the turn to sweep past his rivals and win by a widening margin of 1 1/4 lengths from Mr Entertainer ($31) with Pirandello ($5.80) holding on for third, a head away.
Heavily backed favourite Champagne Cath ($2.20) missed the start then recovered quickly to join the leaders on settling but, after rallying at the top of the straight, she tired to run fourth.
"She stepped away half a length behind them and then had to do too much work," said Champagne Cath's jockey Glyn Schofield.
Bowman was all smiles after winning the first two races of the new season on Kirov and Windjammer.
Both are possible Group 1 Golden Rose contenders next month although Bowman is unsure if Windjammer will be suited at 1400m.
"I think he is a sprinter," Bowman said of Windjammer, who firmed from $101 to $35 for the $1 million Group 1 event
"He doesn't relax over a distance like he did today and they do go really quick up front."
Bowman rode Windjammer in the Todman Stakes last season when the colt ran fourth behind Criterion.
The champion jockey was taken by the improvement Windjammer showed yesterday.
"When I rode him in the Todman, he was at sixes and sevens a bit," Bowman said.
"But today, when he balanced up he just went bang.
"They actually quickened into the straight but then this colt got to his top and sustained that gallop.
"He's a very smart young horse."
Baker said his immediate mission for Windjammer was more than likely the Group 3 $125,000 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill in two weeks.
"I thought he had come back a bigger and better horse but I was very nervous going into this race, I must say," he said. "It's a big relief he has won because I ran him in some big races in the autumn and he didn't have a lot of luck."