Awapuni winner causes rethink for Baker & Forsman

Racing Desk
17 September 2017

A powerful victory at what was to be the last run of her current campaign has forced a rethink for the trainers of progressive mare Crafty Jess.

From the powerful Murray Baker and Andrew Forman operation, Crafty Jess was having the ninth run of her winter campaign in Saturday’s rating 75 1550 metre contest at Awapuni. The four-year-old Mastercraftsman mare belied any signs of the weariness she may have been feeling as she cruised home by one and half lengths in a dominant performance.

Crafty Jess
Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images)

Forsman, who was watching on from Flemington as he prepared to saddle up Gr. 1 Makybe Stakes contender Jon Snow, admitted both he and Baker had thought the run would be the last for the season for the mare.

“She’s been up since May for this campaign so Murray and I both thought that Saturday would be a nice way to sign off for the season and she could go to the paddock for a decent break,” he admitted.

“That run might mean we have to have a rethink of those plans as she seemed to do it very comfortably and put them away nicely.

“We’ve always thought that she would get better as she matured and it has taken awhile for her to really strengthen up. She has come to it nicely of late and she showed what she can do on what was quite a tricky track on Saturday.

“As long as she pulls up well we might have another go with her although I think we will see her at her best next autumn after she has a break away from the hard tracks of summer.”

Forsman was upbeat about the performance of stablemate Francaletta who finished fifth in the day’s feature event, the Gr. 3 Boehringer Ingelheim Metric Mile.

“It was a tough ask stepping up to the mile for her second run and I thought she acquitted herself well,” he said.

“She got caught in the worst of the track in the run home and battled away nicely without really looking like a winning chance.

“It was a shame she couldn’t quite hold on for third and get some black-type which was our goal for her, however there will be other opportunities over the next few weeks to achieve that.”

Despite finishing a well beaten eighth behind impressive winner Humidor, Forsman was satisfied with the run of Jon Snow as he continues his build-up to the Cup races during the Melbourne spring carnival.

“He went a solid race in the circumstances,” he noted.

“He races best when he can get some clear air which wasn’t the case on Saturday as ended up being bottled up amongst them and took a fair bit of jostling.

“He made up some ground late in the piece and has pulled up looking a treat so I think we can move on with some confidence from the run.”

Baker and Forsman will weigh up the options for Jon Snow’s next run which could be in either the Gr. 3 JRA Cup at Moonee Valley on 29 September or the Gr. 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield two days later. – NZ Racing Desk

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