Australian have a habit of claiming New Zealanders as their own when they’re doing well and then passing them back when they’re not quite as successful.
It was without doubt then that with no genuine Australian horse at the Hong Kong International meeting Jimmy Choux was going to become an Aussie for a day.
It’s enough to make the skin crawl across the ditch but trainer John Bary is happy to at least say he’s there on behalf of ‘Australasia’.
Bary has become a mainstay in Australian media this year dating back to Jimmy Choux’s two runs over the autumn and further two runs this spring.
He came so close to the ultimate prize when second in the Cox Plate but over a mile at Sha Tin he could pick up a very nice replacement.
“He’s certainly a horse that’s thrust me in the limelight and allowed me to play with the big boys,” he said.
He says the horse has been going along swimmingly since his last start in Melbourne.
“He’s been doing fantastically well, had a nice gallop last Tuesday, he’s just thrived…looking magnificent,” he said.
Bary insists he’s not concerned by the lengthy gap in between race starts.
“Five weeks, that was the reason for running in the Emirates Mile,” he said.
“It’s actually worked out perfectly, you couldn’t have asked for a better prep.”
Jimmy Choux remained in Victoria following the Emirates Mile and will leave for Hong Kong later this afternoon.
Once there they’ll see how he has handled the trip before deciding on a pre-race plan.
“Hopefully on Saturday he’ll just stretch out is legs a little bit, we’ll give him a nice run on Wednesday to see if he needs another 600m (trackwork) or not,” he said.
Jonathon Riddell will continue his association with the horse and Bary says he has no reservations despite it being his first trip to Sha Tin.
“He’s a very accomplished jockey and the big occasions don’t phaze him,” he said.