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Baker’s ugly duckling looks to swan to fourth straight win

So far this preparation unassuming mare Ita has soared over every hurdle trainer Bjorn Baker has put in front of her but that wasn’t always the case.

At the start of the year Ita won a Muswellbrook maiden and was beaten in a couple of benchmark 58s but she’s blossomed in the new season and beat subsequent group 3 winner Head Of State two weeks ago.

Trainer Bjorn Baker has watched Ita soar this spring.

Trainer Bjorn Baker has watched Ita soar this spring.Credit:Getty

As the four-year-old attempts to stretch her winning run to four stepping up in weight and distance in the Buy @ Irish Sales Online Handicap (1800m) at Kensington on Wednesday, Baker said he sees no reason why she can’t take the challenge in her stride again.

“She’s very much an ugly duckling come good,” Baker said.

“She’s just thriving and I’d be confident she can improve again. I think 1800m will suit, she’s been doing everything really well and the form couldn’t have worked out better with the horse she beat last time winning the Gloaming.

“She’s kept making the jump and I’d be confident she can do it again.”

Ita followed wins at Bathurst and Wyong with her victory over 1550m at Kensington on September 15.

Baker said there’s been no significant physical change in the mare since she started this campaign but suspects she’s simply been on a learning curve.

“I thought she was always going to mature and need a bit of time but she has really clicked into place,” he said.

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