John Bary needs to find a mountain of improvement with The Hombre before tomorrow’s Ipswich Cup and he’s hoping that a change of surroundings might by the incentive he needs.
Unfortunately the horse isn’t in the best shape at the moment after pulling up sore following his run in the Premier’s Cup last start.
As they came off the bend The Hombre was moving quite well but was stopped suddenly when jockey Jim Byrne couldn’t find a way through the pack.
“He was very sore for some time after the race but fortunately no structural problems,” Bary said.
“This week I changed him from the property where he was staying at Nudgee into a stable near Eagle Farm so he wouldn’t have to get on and off a float every day to work.
“It’s just a little thing but it saved putting him through the effort of climbing up and down the float ramp.”
The kiwi import knows how to win in Australia and his last victory was in the Rough Habit Stakes in 2010.
The Ipswich Cup will be one of his final runs this prep and Bary is hoping the trip is justified with a lion’s share of the $200,000 prize.
“That’s more than some Group 1s in New Zealand,” he said.
“If he can run well at Ipswich we’ll keep him going for the Caloundra Cup in a fortnight.”
Another contender for the Ipswich Cup which is coming out of the Premier’s Cup is the Brian Smith trained Little Stranger.
He ran on the same card last year and finished second over a 1660m race and is expected to be very competitive over the longer trip.
Before finishing third last start he was a long way off the pace in the Chairman’s Handicap but Smith says punters can overlook that performance.
“He had a bad barrier in both those races and the first day the tempo made it impossible to come from so far back,” Smith said.
“I asked Ryan (Wiggins) to ride him more aggressively next run and it was a huge effort.
“This time off a good barrier he should get a nice run and there usually is pace on in the Ipswich Cup.
“He’s really done well. I was a bit concerned the last run might take a lot out of him but he’s thrived since the Premier’s Cup.”