Kiwi trainer John Bary knows what it’s like to earn Group 1 success in Australia, in fact he’s felt it as recently as this year
He’s the man behind New Zealand sensation Jimmy Choux which tore them apart in the Rosehill Guineas before tiring in the Australian Guineas.
Barry will be looking to find more of the success he had in Sydney when he saddles up The Hombre in the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
It’s a trip the horse knows well after he came here as a three-year-old in 2010.
Last year he managed to win the Rough Habit Plate and run second in the Grand Prix Stakes but he finished a disappointing ninth to Dariana in the Queensland Derby.
“They were two good runs before the Derby,” Bary said.
“But on Derby day the track was very firm.
“Three other New Zealand horses broke down that day and my bloke is a big horse and jarred up in the Queensland Derby.”
Bary is confident that after a full 12 months maturing The Hombre is much bigger and stronger both physically and mentally.
Despite that he’s still realistic about his chances in the Doomben Cup with one of the best fields entered in recent memory.
“He’s settled in well since he’s been there and one of my staff has been riding him work,” Bary said.
“He’s really matured now and he’s about 17 hands tall.
“He’ll be competitive but to win he’ll need to put it all together on the day.
“But I’m not scared about having a go.”
Also trying to find his second winner across the Tasman will be Jonathon Riddell who partnered Jimmy Choux to his autumn victory.
Another win here would further cement a strong partnership between the trainer and jockey.
“Jon is going over early to ride him work on Tuesday morning, hopefully on the course proper,” Bary said.
The last time The Hombre appeared in Australia was in Melbourne last spring where he never fired a shot in the Geelong, Kyneton and Ballart Cups.
Bary isn’t too concerned though saying that this is a completely different horse on show in 2011.
“He wasn’t in his best form in Melbourne. I think he was still growing and maturing,” he said.
His three runs this campaign have all produced placings back home in New Zealand.
“He ran a big second at his first start back at Trentham,” Bary said.
“I was real pleased with that run as he had 59 kilos and had no trials.
“He then ran second on his home track at Hastings with a another big weight before finishing third at Te Rapa last start.
“He drew wide that day and I would have preferred it to be 2000 metres. He’s crying out for 2000 metres now.”