IT began with a conversation about the possibility of some rides and since then partnership between jockey Greg Ryan and trainer Bjorn Baker has enjoyed huge success at Bathurst’s Tyers Park.
In the four race meetings staged by the Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing Club so far this season, 13 times the combination of Ryan and Baker has come up trumps. On top of that, there has been a second placing and a pair of thirds.
On Friday the Dubbo jockey had his most successful afternoon yet for the Warwick Farm trainer as he rode five winners at the eight-race meeting.
“I’ve been riding for Bjorn, he’s got a very strong stable. He’s a good trainer and his horses are really racing well at the moment, so it’s made my job pretty easy,” Ryan said.
“He was coming here every now and again type thing and I approached him for a couple of rides. He gave me a couple of rides and they won and I got a couple more and they won, so that sort of built the confident up in Bjorn.
“He got confidence in my riding, and his horses are very hard to beat.”
While all Friday’s victories came aboard favourites, not everything came easily for Ryan. The three-year-old filly he rode in the first – Judge Judi – saw his skills come to the fore.
“She’s a bit of a handful. She sorta of ran about all over the shop, didn’t get around the corner real well and done a bit wrong down the straight, but she was able to get there,” he said.
“Actually the horse of Gai Waterhouse’s [Rugosa Rose] in the race probably had a bit stronger form than hers, so Bjorn was keen to beat Gai’s horse, he said ‘You don’t want her coming up here all the time’.
“He said he was keen to beat that one, so he was pretty happy.
“She’s a bit of a headcase actually, she gives them a bit of trouble at home , so it was good to win on her.”