The John Bary-trained Hugo The Boss will be aiming to add a seventh win to his tally on Sunday when he lines-up in the LJ Hooker & McHattie Realty Ltd (1000m) at Tauherenikau.
Bary elected to bypass last weekend’s Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) with the five-year-old gelding in favour of Tauherenikau and he expects Hugo The Boss to continue his strong formline.
“He has had a great season,” Bary said. “We were going to run him in the Lightning, but obviously the track just played against us, so we thought we’d hold him for Tauherenikau where we will get a better footing.”
Bary was pleased with Hugo The Boss’ last start third placing behind Group winners Gift of Power and Passing Shot and drawing the ace barrier for Sunday has further boosted his confidence.
“I was really pleased with that run against some better horses,” Bary said. “He was strong to the line and is just a happy horse. He is against some good ones on Sunday, but I expect a good run from the nice draw.
“If you think you were going to run in the Lightning and be competitive, you would have thought he would be right there in the first two on Sunday.”
Bary will wait until he sees how Hugo The Boss pulls up after Sunday, but the son of Stratum could be set for the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) next month if the tracks hold up.
“It’s track-by-track and race-by-race with him,” Bary said. “If he goes well and if the track was alright at Hastings on Gold Cup Day he could maybe have a shot at the Listed 1200m.
“If the tracks turn and we get rain then he will be spelling until next season, he has had a great season, and hopefully we’ll bring him back for the better sprint races next season.”
Bary is also looking forward to the debut of two promising two-year-olds on Sunday.
Eleventhour and Lady Godiva will contest the Per Incanto Maiden 2YO (1000m) and Bary said there is very little separating the two juveniles.
“They are two really nice horses,” he said. “I thought Eleventhour was very good in his trial (finishing runner-up over 850m).
“My other horse Serena, who has won a race, was third in that trial – Springsteen beat him on the line.
“He is a nice, big and strong looking animal. He has done a bit more as far as the other girl in the fact that he has trialled, so he has seen a few more things.
“He is a nice animal with a great brain on him and he has a great action. I’m looking forward to kicking him off, as with her.
“She’s another one that is very striking and a very imposing filly. He’s 530 kilos and she’s about 520.
“She’s got a really good nature, she’s like an old head on young shoulders. She’s done three jump-outs and she’s gone toe-to-toe with Eleventhour in all three of them. So my form is going around him and I think his form is quite good.”
While Bary is looking forward to their debuts on Sunday he is preparing another stable two-year-old for Group One glory next weekend in the Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
The Fugitive has had two starts, winning on debut and finishing runner-up to Louis Luck last start at Trentham in January.
Bary has a lot of time for the promising youngster and believes he has the ability to break through at black-type level.
“He had a nice gallop this week, he’s going to have a really searching gallop on Saturday against The Bandito, so we will know more then,” he said.
“He’s been in a bit of a growing phase, we tried to get him to Wellington and couldn’t. To be fair that track wouldn’t have suited him anyway.
“We are conscious of the fact the we haven’t had a run for a while and we are going to go straight into a Group One 1400m.
“But he’s pretty classy, if he gets through tomorrow’s gallop well and we are happy, we will be having a go at it because there are not too many Group Ones.
“I do think, whether it’s this race or next season, there is a very good win in this horse. He’s pretty special.”
The Hawke’s Bay trainer has had a standout year, already accruing 19 wins from only 118 starts, already surpassing last year’s tally of 17.
“I’m really happy with how we are going,” Bary said. “I have got some great staff, a lot of long-time staff.
“We have good systems and our own set-up and own track helps a lot. On top of that we have some really good horses coming in.
“It goes hand-in-hand, you start winning and have a good season and better types of horses turn up.
“I think that has been good and we have done a lot of work on our two-year-olds and they are going well and winning, it sets them up for next season.” – NZ Racing Desk