Surprise Baby Out to Emulate Dad in the Melbourne Cup
Mark Smith - Saturday October 5

Winner of the $400,000 Group II Adelaide Cup (3200m) in March, the $5,5000 Gavelhouse purchase Surprise Baby earned a ticket to the $8 million Melbourne Cup on November 5 when he stormed home to win Saturday's $500,000 Group III The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington.

Sent off favourite off the back of a fourth-place finish in the Group II Feehan Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, the Paul Preusker-trained son of the 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking came from back in the field under a patient Jordan Childs ride to win by one and a half lengths from the Hawkes-trained Supernova (GB) (Intello) with the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Wolfe ( Novellist) three-quarter of a length back in third. (image Grant Courtney)


"It was just a super ride and he's a super horse," Preusker said.

"The (Andrew) Ramsden (second to Steel Prince) sort of threw us a hurdle and we dealt with it.

"I think he's the real deal. He'll improve a lot off today, he's not wound up, I'll strip him better again. It's just a matter of getting him home and letting the feet hit the ground and we'll come up with another plan."

The lightly raced 5yo gelding advanced his record to 5 wins a second and a third from 10 starts with earnings of $723,735.

He went through the 2016 NZB Select Yearling Sale where he failed to make his modest $20,000 reserve and again at the 2016 Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs where could not find a buyer willing to shell out $35,000.

He finally found a home when purchased on Gavelhouse.com for just $5,500 by his owner John Fiteni as an unraced 3-year-old gelding.

His dam Bula Baby is a two-time race winner by Kaapstad out of the top-class performer Miss Tessla (Crested Wave) a nine-time race winner with stakes victories include the Group II Sedgwick Classic Stakes, and the Listed VRC Matron Stakes and she was also eight-times placed in Group races.

Bula Baby has a 3yo filly by Proisir who was sold for just $1000 at the NZB Karaka May Sale, a 2yo colt by Super Easy and a yearling colt by Proisir. She wasn't covered last year.