Racing: Deja vu for Bary

By Richard Edmunds

For the second time he watched helplessly as his high hopes for glory were dashed by horrendous luck in the home straight.

This time, though, there was no justice. A luckless second was all Survived will get for his tremendous Australian debut in Saturday's group three feature at Eagle Farm.

Three years ago Bary's Rough Habit Plate hopes were riding on The Hombre in the first race of what was the young trainer's first journey overseas.

The Hombre looked set to kick that Australian adventure off in the best possible style. He finished powerfully down the home straight and seemed set for victory before his chances were suddenly extinguished by a wayward Tee Emar, who clung on to the lead and denied The Hombre the win.

The interference was so severe that the result was reversed on protest. The Hombre was awarded the victory that was rightfully his.

It was a bit different this time around. Bary, now a much more seasoned traveller after Jimmy Choux's amazing career took him to Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong, returned to Brisbane with one of his latest stable stars, Survived.

Already one of the hype horses of New Zealand racing after he became the first 3-year-old since 1977 to win the Hawke's Bay Gold Cup, Survived had created quite a stir in Australia, too, before even setting foot on a racetrack there - courtesy of the fact that Usainity and Platinum Kingdom, second and third to Survived in the Manawatu Classic in March, both scored impressive stakes wins in Sydney in recent weeks.

But it was Rough Habit Plate deja vu for Bary as everything went wrong in the straight.

This time, though, Survived was a victim of circumstances, rather than interference - so a protest wasn't an option. The Zed gelding simply didn't get out into open space in time.

Taken back to his customary position towards the rear of the field early in the race by jockey Jonathan Riddell, everything seemed to be going to plan for most of the race. The pace was strong, playing into the hands of the late finishers and all Survived needed was to find a path and get a clear run at them down the straight.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen until it was far too late. As Riddell started to shift outwards and make his move, he came up against an impenetrable wall of horses. There was no way out, and time was slipping away.

By the time Riddell finally forced his way into the clear on the extreme outside, the race was over.

Survived got going and absolutely flew, but Hawkspur was home free. Survived must have devoured about six lengths of Hawkspur's lead in the final stages, but the winner was still three lengths ahead at the line. Fellow Kiwi Usainity - another son of fairy-tale stallion Zed - was another of a length away in third.

Although this was his first taste of defeat since January, Survived would have lost no admirers for his performance in Brisbane. He simply had no chance to make up that deficit after being boxed in for so long.

The way he finished the race off should fill his connections and fans with plenty of confidence for upcoming assignments over longer distances. It seems likely Survived would have beaten Hawkspur in this race if he'd got a clear run sooner, so it's no great stretch to predict he'll have that runner covered as they both step up over more ground in the Grand Prix and Queensland Derby.

Though there were similarities in their luckless Australian debuts, let's hope that's where the parallels end for The Hombre and Survived.

The Hombre fell short of high expectations in the rest of his Brisbane campaign - a solid second in the Grand Prix, followed by dismal failure in the Queensland Derby.

Survived, on the other hand, looks an outstanding prospect to continue New Zealand's strong record in Brisbane's premier 3-year-old race.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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