Patience paying off for trainer Barb Barry

Trainer Barb Barry is a big believer that at times horses just need time off.

And, the way her stable has performed over the last month, it is hard to argue with the Cornubia-based trainer.

The 61-year-old has prepared two pacers from her team to win first-up after more than two years away from the races.

“It is paying off,” she said.

Corvette Joe got the ball rolling at Redcliffe’s Triangle track last month to kick-off the fresh fortunes for the stable before Sheza Bonny Sheila made it a first-up double on Wednesday evening on the Peninsula.

The duo were last presented to the races in August and July of 2020 before returning with a bang.

The stable mates were both well supported in the market and won well for driver Mathew Neilson.

Corvette Joe and Sheza Bonny Sheila were not forced away from being in work through an injury.

Driver Mathew Neilson and Sheza Bonny Sheila getting the money.

The veteran trainer just opted to put them in the paddock after a handful of starts each in their two-year-old campaigns.  

“They just grew up and learnt to be horses first and then grew up into nice little race horses,” she said.

The breakthrough maiden triumph for Corvette Joe was particularly satisfying for the long-time harness participant.

“Corvette Joe, I was over the moon with him as he does not have as much ability as the mare,” she said.

“I was trying to find the right race for the horse as I wanted to really see him win first-up.

“It would make the whole long process worthwhile if we did that – you put them out in the paddock and feed them and put a lot of money into them – you want to make it worthwhile.

“So, that maiden race at Redcliffe was ideal for him and the mare, I was going to be disappointed if she did not win first-up as I have real high hopes for her.

“She stamped her authority in her race so I was really happy and chuffed.

“It helps you get through the next few weeks when you have a couple of results like this.”

Sheza Bonny Sheila was a winner in her maiden campaign back in 2020 and went on to contest the Group 1 QBRED TRIAD Final for Fillies, where finished back in the field.

While Barry said Corvette Joe had growing issues – she described him as a monster – the filly needed some re-education in her time in the paddock over the last couple of years.

“We started having troubles with her at the start and she just wanted to gallop,” the trainer says.

“She would get going again and catch the field and go enormous.

“She was a big girl also but I decided to pull the pin on her and chucked her out for 18 months or so.”

While the duo have come back and returned in stunning winning fashion, there was some doubts in the trainers thinking around if they would be competitive again after so long away from the races.

“It was on my mind for them being out that long, if they would return,” the former driver said.

“Sometimes you can really struggle to get them back after a long break.

“But, the thing that was on my side was that they were both not seasoned race horses as two-year-old’s.”

Barry – who has four standardbreds in work – has high hopes for her comeback mare and believes she could be a player come the TAB Queensland Summer Harness Racing Season in 2023.

The team after Corvette Joe’s maiden triumph.

The Forever Gold for mares at Group 2 level will be run over 1660 metres for $52,000 on Saturday night at Albion Park and Barry is keen to see Sheza Bonny Sheila be targeted towards next year’s edition of the race.

“I really do like her, she is a really nice horse,” the horsewoman said.

Corvette Joe had his second start back from the lengthy break at Albion Park on Thursday afternoon, finishing fourth.

The Barry stable has had great success through Sheza Bonny Sheila’s family line.

They prepared her grand dam Bonnie Shelia to several victories in Queensland more than two decades ago.

Stable mate Ginger Micky – who won at Redcliffe three starts back – is also out of Bonnie Shelia’s daughter, Im A Bonnie Sheila.

By Jordan Gerrans