The John Bary trained The Hombre goes into the Ipswich Cup trying to turn around what can best be summed up as a disastrous winter campaign.
The Kiwi gelding produced his worst ever run in a race last start when he was beaten by 20 lengths in the Group Three Premiers Cup at Doomben.
The Hombre was sent out as favourite in that race, however Bary believes there were legitimate excuses on the day.
“He was travelling beautifully and tried to angle out before the leaders came back on him. He tried to move one out of the way but we ended up being shoved back to the rail. Jim Byrne nearly lost his irons and we got spat out the back of the field,” Bary said.
“He wasn’t in a winning position so he’s just protected the horse. But that’s just racing.”
It seems as if The Hombre may save his best efforts for New Zealand. The gelding has been unplaced in his last six Australian runs dating back to last year. The last time he was able to salute the judge was in the Rough Habit plate during last year’s Brisbane winter carnival.
However Bary believes they can turn it around on Saturday in the listed Ipswich Cup.
“He was a bit sore for the week after his last run but we’re happy with his fitness and he’s in nicely at the weights. And it’s what I believe is the level of race where we’re in with a chance.” Bary said.
The Hombre, who is a $4.00 favourite for the Ipswich Cup, will again be ridden by Jim Byrne and will jump from barrier 13.
Bary has also bought dual Group One winner Jimmy Choux back from the spelling paddock ahead of the Melbourne spring carnival.
Jimmy Choux won the Rosehill Guineas and the New Zealand Derby last year, and is being trained towards a Cox Plate. Despite his impressive New Zealand Derby win, Jimmy Choux will not be headed towards the cups during the spring.
“We’ve got three Group One races in the spring on our back door step then over to Melbourne for the Cox Plate,” Bary said.
“We don’t believe he’ll cop two miles. He’s a genuine sprinter/mile type and the Cox Plate will suit him with his turn of foot. He’s got too much brilliance to be a two miler.”