SOURCE: NICK GUTRIE, www.wellingtontimes.com.au /
The booming partnership between Bjorn Baker and Greg Ryan went to a new level on Sunday as the pair combined to take out the $150,000 Wellington Boot with Miss Invincible.
But no win has been as big as Sunday’s, as Ryan flew home aboard Miss Invincible to claim his fourth victory in the famed two-year-old feature.
His previous three Boots had all been won for Muswellbrook trainer Pat Farrell but the fourth couldn’t have been much sweeter, scoring victory on the track he grew up on for a trainer who has continually backed him to deliver.
“It’s always good to win the feature race in your old home town and this stable has been really good to me and looked after me through thick and thin,” Ryan said post-race.
“It was good for him (Baker) to get behind me when he could have easily brought a Sydney rider up but I’ve had a lot of luck with him in the bush so it was good of him to put me on.”
While the race featured horses from the glamour stables of Gai Waterhouse and the Snowden Racing Team, it was Allan Denham’s Lilith which jumped a $3 favourite.
Miss Invincible! Greg Ryan does it better than anyone! Takes out the $150,000 #WellingtonBoot for Bjorn Baker. Brilliant effort from Ryan at the track he grew up on. Powered home. pic.twitter.com/CdoGPkdxly
— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) April 8, 2018
The Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Adagirl ($6.50) got to the lead early in the 1100m event while Buckin’ Beauty ($26), Lilith, and Safaris ($31) also pushed forward.
Adagirl booted clear at the top of the straight and at one stage it appeared no one was even going to come close but Ryan launched Miss Invincible forward after going into the straight in third place.
Adagirl began to tire late on and that was all the invitation Ryan needed as he charged forward in the final few hundred metres, while the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Shinju ($15) flashed home from deep in the field.
But it was Miss Invincible who had enjoyed the better trip and the $3.30 hope went on to score by three-quarter-of-a-length from Shinju, ridden by Group 1 winner Andrew Adkins.
Adagirl had to settle for third, ahead of Brett Cavanough’s Blazing Issue ($7) and Lilith.
“I was confident I was going to get her (Adagirl) but always in the back off my mind I knew she (Miss Invincible) hadn’t been finishing her races off,” Ryan said.
“But she hadn’t been ridden in her zone before. She’d been ridden hard and today she was ridden in her comfort zone and that gave her something in the tank to let down with.”
Ryan stated one of the reasons he respects Baker so much is the leading Warwick Farm-based trainer asks for the champion’s hoop advice when he heads west.
And when it comes to Ryan’s thoughts on Miss Invincible going forward, it’s something Baker would be very happy to hear.
“That horse there has done a lot wrong so it will improve out of sight next prep,” he said.
The win was Ryan’s only success for the day.