Warrior stable still in pristine condition

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Image: Steve Hart

Hard-form gelding Prime Candidate is ready to give some nerve in the Theo Marks Stakes

He’s not the best horse in Bjorn Baker’s stable, but the veteran sprinter Prime Candidate has a case for being one of the toughest.

In his sixth racing season, the eight-year-old has won eight of his 35 starts and managed 10 other minor finishes and he continues to maintain his form despite launching his current campaign in May.

“He’s a gentleman to have around,” Baker said.

“He’s a lovely horse to train and he’s been a mainstay in the stable.”

Scratched from the Tramway Stakes last weekend due to the heavy track, Prime Candidate will take his place on Saturday in Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill where he has a chance of $10.

He was only brought down in the final strides by the returning Showmanship galloper over 1200m on the final start after getting the better of leader Bandipur and eyeing the winner halfway down the straight.

With the race fitness advantage over several of his main rivals, Prime Candidate will be on a mission to find the forward in the Theo Marks and challenge his opponents to catch him.

“He’s weightless and he’s super fit, so we’ll be very positive and aim to lead,” Baker said.

“I hope he can be strong in the 1300 meters.

“I was surprised we didn’t lead last time out, so we really want to make his presence felt on Saturday.”

Ten of the 12 runners in the Theo Marks Stakes resume, including leading market odds Mr. Mozart and Ellsberg.

Kementari also tackles feature first and coach James Cummings says it will be an important test for the eight-year-old to prove he still has a taste for racing.

“He tends to run very well and he’ll tell us how much he wants to keep going,” Cummings said.

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