The triumvirate of Bjorn Baker, Joshua Parr and Overpass are developing a great bond with Perth. No, rewind: They have now cemented a lucrative relationship!

Plundering Perth’s race riches certainly helps.

Yesterday’s G1 Winterbottom Stakes win by Overpass, eight months after defeating home town hero Amelia’s Jewel in the inaugural $4 million Quokka in April, are more than enough reasons to fall in love with WA racing.

And Baker, Parr and Overpass are not quite done with just yet in the west, both in the short term and long term.

The financial lure of the Gold Rush (1400m) could be hard to resist in two weeks’ time and Overpass defending his Quokka title is almost certainly assured next year.

Overpass, the best horse in the Winterbottom Stakes, ridden the best race by ace jockey, Joshua Parr, won WA ‘s best sprint event by nearly two lengths.

But forget the margin, it was a dominant performance and helped erase the disappointment of his previous run in the Everest when 10th to Think About It.

It was the only poor run by Overpass since The Quokka and one that still rankles and mystifies Baker.

Perth’s gun three-year-olds, Oscar’s Fortune and Ripcord, showed why they are enormous talents with big futures when finishing second and third respectively.

After his second to Giga Kick in the Doomben 10000 last May, Overpass opened his G1 account in style and boosted prizemoney won to $5.6 million.

For Baker, he might come across as a little quirky,  but he’s highly intelligent having graduated from Otago University in 1999 with a Bachelor Of Pharmacy.

But as the son of Murray Baker, one of New Zealand’s most successful trainers, it wasn’t long before the pull of his racing roots took over and a dream to become a trainer turned to reality.

Overpass continued what by any measure has been a highly successful 2023 for Baker and comes hot on the heels of Ozzmosis winning last month’s Group 1 Coolmore (1200m) at Flemington.

Baker said winning the Winterbottom Stakes was an amazing feat by Overpass.

“It’s an amazing race,” Baker said.

“Four international superstars have won this race, Australian sprinting superstars.

“Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Ortensia and Buffering.

“To win this race is amazing.

“Josh Parr rode him like the best horse and what a year he’s had, he’s a big race rider.

“This horse deserves it, no doubt, he’s earned it.

“I really thought he could win The Everest.

“I’m not saying he was unlucky in any way shape or form, but I don’t know if he had his best day.

“It was good to see him bounce back.”

From barrier 10 Parr had Overpass quickly on the flanks of the leader Savatoxl before hooking to the centre of the track.

Overpass hit the front with 200m remaining and from that point on the race was never in danger for the five-year-old.

For Parr it was his 10th win at the elite level and continued his building feature race profile.

He’s two from two in Perth this year after guiding Overpass in the Quokka.

At Rosehill on November 4, he celebrated victory in the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) on Japanese galloper, Obamburumai.

Baker said he left Parr with just one instruction and he followed it to the letter.

“I said do what you want to do,” Baker said.

“If you want to lead or sit off, but just be positive.

“We had to be positive and utilise that early speed.”

Surprisingly, Overpass was sent out at $3.20 in Tabtouch Fixed Odds.

Easy in hindsight but with the calibre of horse and the dominant record of eastern states raiders in the Winterbottom, it appeared a luxury price.

Ripcord ($6.50), Triple Missile ($7.50) and Oscar’s Fortune ($8) came next.

Baker said he will wait to see how Overpass recovers from the Winterbottom before committing to the $1.5 million Gold Rush on December 16.

Next year’s Quokka, now bumped up to $5 million in prizemoney, could be a promoters dream.

If Overpass defends his title he could go up against Amelia’s Jewel in a sought after rematch.

Julio Santarelli