Kiwi trainer Murray Baker continued his winning streak when Turn Me Loose led from start to finish in claiming the Group II $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Hot on the heels of Baker’s Caulfield Cup win with Mongolian Khan last Saturday, the combination with Opie Bosson struck again, upsetting short-priced favourite Lucky Hussler.
Bosson fired the four-year-old entire to the front and rolled along at a solid clip before pinching what proved to be a winning break approaching the turn.
Glen Boss had the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler positioned to strike 600m from home but struggled to make ground on the leader, with John O’Shea’s import Bow Creek the only one to burst out of the pack, closing hard for James McDonald to just miss.
Turn Me Loose ($4.20) prevailed by a half-length from Bow Creek ($17) with Lucky Hussler ($2.05 fav) third, beaten three lengths.
A proud New Zealander, Baker indicated the $1 million Group I Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington would be the next target for Turn Me Loose.
“There’s no doubt that Kiwi jockeys, the Kiwi trainers and the Kiwi horses can measure up,” Baker said.
“They’ve just to be given the opportunity.”
For jockey Opie Bosson, this win won’t rate as highly as his Group I Caulfield Cup victory last Saturday, but a Group II race during carnival time is still a big achievement.
“What you saw is what you got,” Bosson said. “He went out hard in front and maintained it. He’s a good horse.”
Meanwhile in the stewards’ room, Queensland apprentice Luke Dittman, who rode Worthy Cause, was suspended for seven meetings for checking Jeff Penza’s mount Sons Of John at the 100m mark.