It began with a simple conversation about a couple of potential rides but since then the trainer-jockey combination of Bjorn Baker and Greg Ryan has enjoyed a wealth of success, particularly at Bathurst’s Tyers Park.
Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing Club has staged four meetings so far this season and, incredibly, Baker and Ryan have secured 13 victories across them.
They’ve picked up a second and two third finishes as well.
Almost half of those wins came last Friday as Baker and Ryan producing their most successful outing yet at the Bathurst track, the Dubbo jockey riding five winners for the Warwick Farm trainer.
“[Baker has] 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 confidence up in Bjorn.
“He got confidence in my riding, and his horses are very hard to beat.”
While all Friday’s victories came on 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 sort of of ran about all over the shop, didn’t get around the corner real well and did 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.”
Friday’s wins came on Judge Judi (Thrifty Car and Truck Rental F&M Maiden Plate – 1100 metres), Tony’s Reward (Kennards Hire CG&E Maiden Plate – 1100m), Capella Magna (Bathurst RSL Club Benchmark 70 Handicap – 1300m), Personable (Watermart Class 3 Handicap (Scaled – 0.5kg) – 1400m) and Mad For Art (Hothams Sand Soil & Gravel Class 1 Handicap – 1200m).