Wins are always hard to come by in racing but Electric Ellyse’s victory at the Gold Coast was a timely tonic for her 87 year old trainer Shirley Batten.
Shirley is one of Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ favourite clients and has been a regular and popular member of Ontrack Racing Tours for many years. Included among her several Ontrack 'jaunts' over the past 10 years have been visits to Royal Ascot, Singapore and Hong Kong.
On Saturday Shirley saddled up Electric Ellyse to win the opening event at the Gold Coast Turf Club to record her first race day success in 15 starts.
Shirley trains the mare at the Turf Club with the assistance of her son David Batten, who is also a part-owner.
They race the mare on lease from Jeff Kruger of Lyndhurst Stud and the mare is named after Jeff’s daughter Ellyse who turned 12 the day after the Gold Coast win.
More importantly the win was a welcome change of luck for Shirley, who broke an elbow in a fall at the stable.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw she was leading because I had said to her rider Luke Rolls to use her inside barrier but that she might not have enough speed to lead.
“We have had so many problems with her and she’s such a diva, but it was lovely to finally win a race with her,” said Shirley.
Much of the work on the mare has been done by David as Shirley recovers from her elbow injury.
Shirley is on the road to recovered and is awaiting a doctor’s clearance later this week so she can join the Ontrack Hunter Valley Horse and Wine Tour in October.
Joining Shirley in the Hunter Valley this year will be another leading local horsewomen in Helen Donnelly, another regular Ontrack ‘tourist’.