Summer targets on the line at Kembla on Saturday

Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker says Soldier Of Love is ready to shape up and decide his summer path on Saturday when the handy performer lines up in the Polytrack Benchmark 88 Handicap (1600m) at Kembla.

The five-year-old gelding was something of a revelation during his previous campaign in late autumn and early winter where he recorded a victory over the recent Group 3 winner Trumbull.

The son of Mawingo (GER) returned to the races recently in the Goulburn Cup where he finished outside the placings but his trainer believes that performance should have his charge close to the mark and set to figure this weekend.

“It was a fairly brutal race the Goulburn Cup and first-up on soft ground found him out but it did him the world of good,” Baker said.

“He’s a tough horse and has really bounced out of the run.”

Soldier Of Love has a consistent record over the 1600m trip with two wins and another four placing in six starts over the trip while he’s won twice and placed on the other occasion in three previous second-up starts.

His record is also outstanding when Rachel King jumps into the saddle with the duo previously combining on nine occasions for three wins and another four placings.

Rachel King. Photo: Jenny Evans.Source:News Corp Australia

“The numbers look pretty good going into Saturday,” Baker said. “He and Rachel get along really well and I’m happy with how the horse is heading into the race.

“I’ve had a quick look at the form and he’ll go forward and looks to get a decent enough run.

“I’m expecting him to be around the mark again.”

Baker said Saturday’s performance from Soldier Of Love could go a long way to deciding which of the “three future options” he is considering as the summer target of the gelding.

“There’s three future options I’m weighing up and we’ll know more about where he’s heading after Saturday,” he said.

“I’m not ruling out the Villiers (Stakes 1600m) but I’m also thinking about the Summer Cup (2000m) and maybe even trying to qualify him for the Magic Millions Stayers race (Subzero).

“There’s a couple of wild card races to get into it around Christmas time so we might even look towards them.

“There’s plenty of options to look at for him.”

Originally published asSaturday sets up summer for up-and-comer

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