A win is always pleasing but Greg Ryan couldn’t hide his frustration around Barbass following victory at Dubbo Turf Club on Friday.
Barbass, the Cameron Crockett trained gelding who has raced in a $600,000 Group 1 at Eagle Farm, the listed Inglis Guineas at Scone and a handful of Highways Handicap races, was an overwhelming favourite for the Job Centre Australia Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1620m) at Dubbo.
Jumping as a $1.26 favourite, the only question seemed how much would the three-year-old win by.
But after getting to the lead before the bend for home, champion jockey Ryan was made to work down the straight before going on to score by a touch more than three-quarters-of-a-length.
“He’s that sort of horse. He’s just been doing what he has to and I’m not convinced he’s giving a wholehearted effort,” Ryan said after Barbass’ second career win.
“Here today, a Class 1 Maiden Plate, he’s meeting horses that had nowhere near the form of him on equal weights so you’d think even without trying he’d win the race but I just don’t think he’s learned to race yet.
“He’s still doing a few things wrong and I think if he does knuckle down and try he’ll go a lot better.”
While it wasn’t the ideal performance, Ryan was still full of praise for Crockett.
The young trainer scored back-to-back winners at the track with Kingsbridge saluting in the Quality Inn Dubbo Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1620m).
Ryan and Crockett have proved a winning combination in recent years and the jockey said it was always pleasing to win.
“He’s a good trainer, Cameron, and does well with his horses and you can rely on them to come here and run up to their ability,” he said.
Barbass got out well from barrier eight on Friday, settling third while Pastiche ($26) set the early pace from Great Body ($101) with Quint Australis ($91).
My Tagoson ($4.80) was the only other horse in the race in single figures in the betting mark and sat midfield as Barbass took up the running.
At the top of the straight it appeared the progeny of Benfica and Misasio would run away with it but Pastiche wouldn’t go away and My Tagoson started to make a run along the rails.
But Barbass’ class shone as he scored his first win since the maiden victory in the $104,000 Inglis Challenge at Scone in May of last year.
“On what he’s been doing you’d say he wants 2000m because all he’s doing is grinding and he really gives me the feel he’s just following the field along and is happy doing whatever the field is doing so I’m not sure how much he’s got up his sleeve,” Ryan said.
The win was part of an early treble for Ryan, who also won with A’Louest and Annecy.