Stayer posts timely Cup success

Highlad provided his owner with a welcome tonic when he overcame trying underfoot conditions for further success on Saturday.
Under a cool ride from Jonathan Riddell, the High Chaparral four-year-old won for the third time in his last four outings with a comprehensive victory in the Gr.3 Campbell Infrastructure Rotorua Cup (2200m).
“I’m very pleased for his owner Scott Richardson, who has been in ill-health,” said Murray Baker, who trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman.
Between Baker and his Sydney-based son Bjorn, they have prepared 70 winners for Richardson.
“This horse is under-rated – he performed in Melbourne as a three-year-old and we like him a lot,” Baker said.
“He can run on all types of tracks and he’s a big horse who’s taken a while, but he’s hitting his straps now.”
Highlad settled midfield on the fence before Riddell improved from the 5 f and had the four-year-old into fourth spot 4 f from home.
“I thought it was a very heady ride by Jonathan, he got off the fence and came out and knew what he had under him,” Baker said. “It was a very good run and he’ll go out for a spell now.”
Highlad was in front at the top of the straight and he stayed on strongly for the eighth win of his career, which also features a victory in last season’s Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m).
He then crossed the Tasman and finished third in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) and a creditable eighth in the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m).

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