IN Racing
Bary philosophical about venue change
No trainer was more affected by the abandonment of racing at Hastings last Saturday than John Bary.
NZ Racing Desk | October 06, 2022
Best Seller. Photo: Trish Dunell

No trainer was more affected by the abandonment of racing at Hastings last Saturday and the subsequent transfer of the meeting’s two feature races to Matamata this weekend than John Bary, but he is taking the decision in his stride.

The Hastings horseman is set to travel north to Matamata with four runners on Saturday, with Spring Tide set to contest the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m), while Te Awa Bay and Best Seller will line-up in the Gr.2 AHD Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), and promising three-year-old filly Sequoia Star will race on the undercard.

“We couldn’t have raced (last Saturday) and it was potentially the right decision going forward to move the mile (to Matamata). Some of those horses will hopefully back up in the Livamol (Gr.1, 2040m),” Bary said.

“It also allows Imperatriz and La Crique back in and we need our best horses racing in our best races.

“That decision was spot on.”

Spring Tide will head into Saturday off the back of a runner-up result in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Bary is looking forward to seeing how the six-year-old handles a mile his weekend.

“He is probably one that won’t be as inconvenienced by racing away from home and a night away,” Bary said.

“We are going to get a better track, but then again, we are trying to get him out to a mile on fresh legs, so it might not be the worst thing for him.

“The wide draw (12) doesn’t worry me because we were going to be riding him back anyway, trying to get the mile.

“His work has been super, his last two gallops have been exceptional.”

Spring Tide won’t back-up a week later on the final day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival and Bary said his performance on the weekend will dictate his future plans.

“He doesn’t go 2000m and is starting to get weighted out of the Red Badge Sprint (Gr.3, 1400m) now, so we will get through Saturday and then make plans for what we do with him for the rest of the season from there,” he said.

“It would be lovely to see him run out a strong mile, it opens up so many doors through the season.”

While Bary agreed with the transfer of the Arrowfield Stud Plate, he was less supportive of the Guineas’ move north.

“I disagree with the Hawke’s Bay Guineas being moved, I don’t think we needed to,” he said.

“We would have had 10 or 11 for it down here and another 10 or 11 for the Sarten (Gr.2, 1400m at Te Rapa on October 22).

“It looks like we are catering to a select few.”

Best Seller will be the sole filly in the race, which will be her final lead-in to the Gr.1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month for which she is a $5 joint favourite with Legarto. 

“We only wanted to travel once and that would have been to the Soliloquy (Gr.3, 1400m). That has been taken out of our hands now so we will do this let her up a bit and then bring her back up to fly to Christchurch,” Bary said.

“It is a long trip down there, it is a race within itself. Whether we do a jumpout or exhibition gallop to keep her up to the mark. But she is a naturally fit filly, she has had a couple of good, hard runs and she is going to get another one on Saturday.

“We have got to look after her as there is a long season ahead.”

Bary is also hoping for a bold showing from Te Awa Bay, who remains a Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) hopeful.

“He is a nice horse. He is a big, strong horse who is going to love 1400m and a mile. He is still in the Guineas so we are going to try and backdoor it in some way,” Bary said.

“I wouldn’t be putting him in there just to be making up numbers. He is travelling up a long way as well. He is a big, strong, lovely animal and hopefully Jonathan Riddell can work the oracle and we can be there in the top two or three.”

Meanwhile, Bary has a lot of time for three-year-old filly Sequoia Star and is eyeing a Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) path with the daughter of Redwood.

She will meet a small but select field on Saturday in the Comag Limited 1400 and Bary said it will give him a good indication of where his filly’s capabilities lie.

“I have thrown her in the deep end a little bit here but that race hasn’t come up as strong as I thought, there are only two in it,” he said.

“She was a strong second at Taupo. I have a lot of time for her, she is sort of my Oaks filly. We are going to know a lot more about her after this Saturday.

“It will do her good to chuck her in the deep end a bit and see where she ends.”

John Bary Te Awa Bay Spring Tide Best Seller Imperatriz La Crique Sequoia Star