The adage of one day at a time rings true for Japanese-bred French import Bag Raider who is set for his second Australian start at Caulfield.
One of a number of Japanese yearlings bought by Gai Waterhouse before starting their careers in France, Bag Raider is now in the care of Scott Cameron.
He has been entered for two races at Caulfield on Saturday with Cameron saying the five-year-old will take his place in a benchmark 78 race over 1600m, bypassing a heat of the VRC-CRV Winter Championship.
Bag Raider was off the scene for more than 18 months before scoring at Bendigo on May 5.
Scouring the pages of the Inglis digital sales website, Cameron’s interest was sparked by Bag Raider while noting an “ugly” vets report.
“He had quite a bad tendon injury and was heard to make noise but myself and a few mates decided to take the punt if we could get him cheap,” Cameron said.
“These Japanese-bred horses have ability, so we bought him, gave him a good spell and took him really steady for the first couple of months to make sure everything held up.
“He’s not an easy horse to ride and I ride him every morning.
“He’s really hard-going and you have to try and get him to relax so we took him to Werribee for his first jump-out.
“I noticed in France he’d never raced under 2000 metres and he trialled like a sprinter sitting outside the leader.
“He cruised along against some smart horses and we thought we had something.”
Another trial at Cranbourne, which Bag Raider won, had Cameron confident the gelding could win first-up at Bendigo, provided he relaxed.
“Luckily everything panned out,” Cameron said.
“After 18 months off the scene, it was a big effort from the horse and my staff to get him there.”
For now Cameron is happy to work his way through the grades and while he sees the 1600m-race as the easier option, Cameron knows the gelding still needs to improve.
“But I think he’s got the ability to,” Cameron said.
Jamie Mott who rode Bag Raider to victory at Bendigo, has the ride again on Saturday.