Toowoomba based Ben Currie has been added to the roster of trainers used by Ontrack and the lightly tried galloper Aqua Delago will be the first horse he prepares for Ontrack.
In the just completed 2016-2017 season, Ben Currie prepared 103.5 winners to head off Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan and claim his first Queensland trainers’ premiership.
Aged 24, Ben has been a rapid achiever in his short career and he created plenty of attention when he prepared the talented galloper Rothera to win a Group 3 race at Caulfield when still a teenager.
“Ontrack has had an eye on Ben Currie for a few seasons now and he’s worked hard to carve out a career and the results last year were just rewards for that hard work,” said Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“We had Aqua Delago with Chris Waller in Sydney and when Chris indicated the horse would be better placed in easier company we believed he was the perfect horse for Ben.
“Being based in Toowoomba allows Ben to try the horse in provincial company and if he finds form, he can progress to Brisbane racing. Ben has been very effective with horses venturing into city racing and we are confident he will be able to coax the best out of Aqua Delago,” said Grant Morgan
A clever ride by Michael Cahill negated an awkward draw for consistent galloper Knockoura at the Sunshine Coast meeting.
Knockoura shed his maiden status after two unlucky second placings at two runs leading into the Sunshine Coast. He was beaten in photo finishes in both placings and arguably would have won both with a little more luck.
After jumping cleanly from barrier eight Knockoura was sent forward by Michael Cahill in a move that won the race as he found the rail after 400 metres and, though pestered by a runner on his outer, he proved too good to record a convincing win.
“He’s been a horse that has taken a little bit of time to work out the racing game, but he is getting better with racing and we have a good opinion of him,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“The Sunshine Coast was his 10th race but he had four minor placings leading up to the win and has never been far away.
“He is out of a predominantly sprinting family, but his dam Miskish was by Fastnet Rock and she won up to 1550 metres and this bloke gives the impression that he might get out to a middle distance. While Star Witness has left a number of very good sprinting horses, he also gets a horse capable of winning over ground and Knockoura might be another horse to stretch out to a trip.
“I’ve always liked him and he could turn out to be a handy horse. When Mick Price had him at Caufield he had a good opinion of him but felt he was just a rung below metropolitan class down there so suggested we try Queensland.
“He’s the third horse we moved to Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast and now all three have been winners. Impregnable won three and was placed in a very strong city race at Doomben, while Dream Master cleared maidens impressively at Ballina so it’s been a good move,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Toby Edmonds was confident that the step up to 1600 metres at the Sunshine Coast.
“He’s always given the impression that he would appreciate a longer trip and that proved to be the case. I didn’t expect him to lead, but Michael made the right call to find the lead when it became available and that proved the winning of the race.
“Knockoura was strong to the line and we think that he will appreciate even further. He’s a nice horse and to be honest he has had little luck in his Queensland runs so there’s more in store for him,” said Toby Edmonds.
Rider Michael Cahill was having his first sit on Knockoura and gave a good push for the horse after the win.
“He’s a nice horse and he won with a fair bit of authority today. He didn’t get a lot of peace in the run when that other horse came and sat outside him but to his credit he relaxed and found the line strongly when I went for him.
“I’m pretty confident he’s going to stretch out to 1800 metres and possibly 2000 metres and if he’s able to take a sit just off the pace you will see him finish off pretty strongly,” said Michael Cahill.
Congratulations to our owners: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No 1 Syndicate, Dave Moretti, Michael Hackett, Sansom Hue, Fortoday Syndicate, Alan Barnes, Barrier Bros Racing, John Nawotka, Mark Ostermeyer, Louis Van Eyssen, Sea Eagle Racing, Fiona Burnell, Robert Corolla, Mark Walker,Alan Wetton, Goldfinger Syndicate, Greg Bowers, Gary Fitzpatrick, Peter Jones.