The Chosen One may have earned himself a last-minute ticket to next week’s Australian Derby in Sydney after heading a stable quinella in today’s Gr. 3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic at Awapuni.

One of four highly rated three-year-olds from the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable in today’s $70,000 race, the Savabeel colt bounced back in style following a luckless last-start 11th in the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie where he was badly hampered at the 700-metre mark.

Ridden today by Troy Harris, The Chosen One sat in midfield before showing a classy change of gears in the home straight. The well-bred colt sailed past stablemate Spring Delight in the last 75 metres and went clear to score by half a length.

The Anne Herbert-trained outsider Blue On Black stuck on well for third after working forward from a wide gate to take the lead in the early part of the race.

Australian bookmakers reacted quickly to today’s performance, trimming The Chosen One to $14 for next Saturday’s Australian Derby at Randwick. Stablemate Madison County, who runs in today’s Gr. 2 Tulloch Stakes, is also prominent in the Derby market at $11.

“We’d have to fly him over on Tuesday, so there’s not much time, but it’s something we’ll have to think about,” Baker said. “But we were confident of a big run today and he won it well.

“It was a very good effort from Spring Delight as well, especially for a filly up against the male three-year-olds.”

Today’s Group Three quinella was a satisfying result for Hall of Fame trainer Baker, who began his training career in the central districts before relocating to Cambridge.

“It’s always good to come back and race here,” he said.

Bred by the Dennis brothers, The Chosen One is out of the Flying Spur mare The Glitzy One – a multiple-stakes-placed daughter of their dual Group One winner The Jewel.

The Dennis family shares ownership of the colt with a number of others including Janine Dunlop, who put the colt through the Karaka sale ring under her Phoenix Park banner. He didn’t meet his $150,000 reserve.

The Chosen One has now had nine starts for three wins, two of them at stakes level. He took out the Listed Zacinto Stakes at Riccarton in October in only the second start of his career. He has placed in another two appearances and has now earned more than $112,000 in stakes.

Sadly, the talented Matamata filly Taming The Shrew broke down badly in the straight in today’s race and fell. Jockey Jake Bayliss reported slight stiffness in an elbow, but he was cleared to take his remaining rides.