John Bary has his Jimmy Choux swagger on as he prepares for Group racing at Trentham on Saturday.
The Hastings trainer was well-known for declaring star galloper Jimmy Choux "past-the-post" to media in certain pre-race discussions and was rarely wrong.
While Bary has preferred to play his cards closer to his chest in recent times, he admits he's got a good feeling about heading to the races on Saturday with Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) contender Miss Wilson and Gr.2 Randwick Meats Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) candidate King Louis.
Both race in the colours of Jimmy Choux's breeder-owners Richard and Liz Wood.
"It's a bit like when we used to take Jimmy to the races. You are not going along just hopeful that your horse is going to run a good race, but not really being sure. We'll turn up on Saturday knowing we are a genuine chance in both races," Bary said.
TAB bookmakers have opened Miss Wilson an equal $6.50 second favourite for her weight-for-age weekend assignment behind six-time Group One winner and $2.80 favourite Kawi, a horse she beat home when both filled minor placings in last month's Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m).
"I just wasn't that happy with her at Tauranga. Her coat was a bit off and whether it was the over-nighter because she's not the best traveller, I'm not really too sure," Bary said.
"But she's done really well since. Her coat is much better and everything is perfect with her action and condition.
"She's had a good season. She's won the Group Three sprint and run a couple of other nice seconds and I really feel she's still on the way up. She's got a good track and she's two-from-two at Trentham. She's older and more mature now, so this could be her time."
Miss Wilson has drawn the outside barrier of 11 and while Bary intimated that the five-year-old Stratum half-sister to Jimmy Choux could press forward, he would leave that decision with jockey Sam Collett.
"She drew wide when she won the Cuddle Stakes at Trentham, though that was a Group Three set weights and penalties race. She does have good speed but whether she uses it or not will be up to Sam.
"She has tactical speed which helps and there's only 11 in it, so it's not like she's having to press forward from 16 or 18. She's a big mare and a big-striding mare so it won't worry me if she's on front or tracking other horses.
"She's at her best at 1400m to 1600m, I think, but she's got that high-cruising speed which puts up with the good ones."
Bary was also expecting a bold run from exciting two-year-old King Louis, who was a trial winner at Foxton last month after his debut second in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham in October.
“He was green in that race, but that was about that other horse moving out on the crossing and the same thing happened at the 200m, he was green when another horse come out at him,” Bary said.
“He did everything right at the trials. He’s an intelligent horse and a quick learner. He’s like Jimmy Choux in that he’ll only do what he has to in trackwork. He’ll beat a maiden by a nose but then front up against a good three-year-old. – NZ Racing Desk.