Friday, January 8, 2021
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The Wave 2021: Paniagua a chance to win big Gold Coast race

The Wave 2021: Paniagua a chance to win big Gold Coast race
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Beaudesert trainer Glen Baker has declared the pressure is off as far north Queensland sensation Paniagua heads to the races unwanted in betting and without a winning streak to preserve.

Paniagua is a $20 chance in the $250,000 The Wave (1800m) on the Gold Coast on Saturday, with the gelding having his first run since his eight-race winning streak was broken when he finished sixth in The Gateway at Eagle Farm on December 12.

Prior to that, Paniagua had strung together seven consecutive wins for former trainer Alex Maliff in north Queensland and one at Doomben after being transferred to Baker so he could race in southeast Queensland.

Baker believes Paniagua simply didn’t handle the seven-day back-up when his winning streak was snapped at Eagle Farm and he also didn’t appreciate dropping back from 1600m to 1400m.

media_cameraTrainer Glen Baker is excited about Paniagua’s chances in The Wave.

He says Paniagua has thrived since last racing a month ago and believes the 1800m of The Wave is in his sweet spot.

The booking of Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michael Rodd is a positive but Baker has high respect for Paniagua’s rivals in The Wave.

Drawing the widest barrier also doesn’t help.

“Dropping back in distance last time and backing up, he just didn’t like it,” Baker said.

“I’m thinking 1800(m) is more his go and probably even getting him out over 2000m in races after that.

“He’s a pretty talented horse but there are a lot of talented horses in The Wave.

“The good thing for me and the owners is there is no pressure on now to preserve his winning streak and we can just enjoy the race, we are pretty chuffed about that.

“The reason he hasn’t run for a month is that he has probably been a victim of circumstances because of the way races were programmed and then he backed up into the Gateway.

“Frosty Rocks (Bjorn Baker galloper who ran in The Gateway and now contests The Wave) was able to go back to Sydney and run down there before lining up in the Wave, but there has been nothing suitable for us up here.”

Ballistic Boy is the $3.80 favourite for The Wave on Ladbrokes with Danny O’Brien’s Victorian mare Paradee at $4.40 and Frosty Rocks on the next line of betting at $4.50.

Originally published as Sweet spot: No pressure on country champ in Wave ride



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