Pin’s four-year-old Barbaric has the talent to take him all the way to the top, but whether his legs can carry him there is another issue.
The troubled four-year-old has been restricted to a handful of starts so far for Stephen Marsh and the Cambridge trainer has no doubt he is of Group One quality. “I’m 100 per cent sure about that, he’s just got so much ability,” he said.
“He’s day to day so planning isn’t easy with him. He’s very, very good, but plagued with problems and he’s ageing me. Sleepless nights and praying – he’s bloody hard work, but worth all the time.”
The Goodwood Stud-bred and raced Barbaric gave a further snapshot of his ability this afternoon at Te Rapa where he was returning from another injury-forced break. He was off the rail across the top to challenge halfway down the straight and glided clear to win by three and three-quarter lengths.
“He’s had five runs and won three of them and in the other two he’s pulled up lame,” Marsh said. “The first time he got beaten was when he ran second to Miss Pelear and Jason (Waddell) said he felt him falter at the furlong that day. He got beaten 1.3 lengths and she’s gone on to win a Group Two.
“Then he pulled a plate at his next start and pulled up sore in front and pulled muscles behind – he did it all.
“He’s got terrible feet and average joints and our farrier Marshall Stead has done an amazing job and he’s with him all the time. Rex and William Fell have been great and having such patient owners has been brilliant – I’m really pleased for them.”
Marsh will monitor Barbaric’s progress in the next few days before confirming his next appearance. “There’s the Lightning Handicap at Wellington on March 16 or we could wait until the Flying Handicap at Awapuni (March 30),” he said.
The latter would be appropriate as the Listed event is sponsored by Goodwood Stud along with Gerald and Duncan’s Fairdale Stud.