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Baker Gives Last Word On Mongolian
Cambridge trainer Murray Baker says he expects New Zealand Horse of the Year Mongolian Khan to make his presence felt when he resumes in tomorrow's Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I'm very happy with Mongolian Khan," Baker said from Melbourne. "It's a tough race for him first-up. It will be a firm track, probably a good three, and they will run along a bit but he'll be hitting the line." He added: "I hadn't seen him for a week before I arrived back over here and he looks great. He's lost a bit more of his winter coat and I'm pretty happy with where he's at. He's ready to run a nice mile but it's still probably going to be a bit short for him." A winner of seven of his nine starts, Mongolian Khan hasn't raced since his win in the Gr1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick in April when he became the first horse since the mighty Bonecrusher in 1986 to win the New Zealand and Australian Derbies in the same year. Mongolian Khan has trialled twice ahead of his resuming run and will be partnered by regular rider Opie Bosson on Saturday. Baker has complemented Mongolian Khan's trackwork gallops with swimming and was pleased with the entire's main hit-out alongside the Nigel Blackiston-trained Let's Make Adeal on Tuesday morning. Safely through the Makybe Diva, Mongolian Khan will continue his Cups prep in the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26. Baker was satisfied with the 55kg allocated to the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry-owned four-year-old stallion for the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17, for which he has been made favourite. "I thought that would be his weight - 54.5 to 55 kilos. He's a dual Derby winner and I'm happy with that. There wasn't a real star international entry to push his weight down," Baker said.