Exciting colt Barber a cut above in $1 million feature at Rosehill Gardens

David Murray
Dave Murray

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman labelled Barber “one of the top two-year-olds in the country” after the stylish Godolphin colt came from last on Saturday, 5 November to win the $1 million Golden Gift over 1,100m at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.

While the edge was off stable star Anamoe when he finished fourth in the G1 Champions Stakes at Flemington, his juvenile stablemate showed a sharp turn of foot to keep his unbeaten record intact.

The son of Exceed And Excel had debuted with an excellent win two weeks earlier over 1,000m at Royal Randwick.

While the colt enjoyed a cosy run on the fence in third spot before peeling out to challenge that day, this time he dropped back to last before weaving through traffic with champion rider Hugh Bowman in the saddle.

Barber overcame a chequered run in the home straight to cut down Infatuation in the final 50m, with Summer Loving finishing hard from back in the field to grab third money.

With head trainer James Cummings in Melbourne for the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, stable spokesman Darren Beadman was quick to praise the Godolphin training team at Crown Lodge for “doing all the work” with its two-year-olds and had ultimate faith in Bowman.

“As soon as he jumped I thought, ‘go to plan B’ but, fortunately, when you’ve got a jockey of Hughie’s calibre he doesn’t get flustered or overawed on these occasions,” the Hall Of Fame jockey said.

“He’s a very push-button horse, he’s like a horse who has had six or seven starts.

“He really conserves his energy and he worked his way through the pack, came out and hit the line with a lot of purpose and determination.”

Bowman was complimentary of the young colt’s finish in the race.

“He was happy and I had to trust him to run his race,” Bowman said.

“He had to dig deep today and he produced.

“I would suggest he is one of the top two-year-olds in the country.”