While Clarry Conners has gained a reputation over many years as a trainer of two year olds and his Golden Slipper record bears testimony to that, he is not a bad hand with old cast offs either.
He won the Bert Lillye at Kembla in March with seven year old My Favorite at his third run after a two year old lay off after coming from Hong Kong.
And he has an eight year old in similar circumstances in Vaniloquio which has his second start in two years in the Confidence Insurance Benchmark 60 (1100m) at Wyong on Friday.
The horse looked to have a promising career ahead of him when he won four races in major tracks in France and was sent to Hong Kong.
However he failed to run a place in 19 starts and was retired and ended up at a farm for retired horses near Wyong run by Rebecca Brown.
She believed he still had something to give, contacted Conners and after he inspected the horse agreed to train him.
“He is a nice horse and I could find nothing wrong with him so Rebecca and I leased him,” Conners said.
“I think he found the tracks in Hong Kong too hard.
“If you look at his form in France he won on soft tracks and I think the conditions at Wyong are going to suit him.”
Vaniloquio made his Australian debut at Wyong late last month on a soft track and ran an encouraging third in a similar race, beaten only a length.
“It was a nice run and he is going to have taken benefit from the run,” Conners said.
Training race horses is a never ending learning curve and Tracey Bartley learned a valuable lesson with six year old maiden Naretha.
The mare turned plenty of heads when she just failed behind Grexit on debut at Wyong in late June and Bartley took her Grafton for the Big Maiden on cup day.
She ran seventh beaten almost seven lengths and the trainer blames himself.
“I did a silly thing and put tips on her and she had never worn them before,” Bartley said.
“Grant (Buckley) said she felt terrible in her action and she obviously did not like them so they have come off.”
The well bred Naretha, by Tale Of The Cat, only came to Bartley earlier this year as a five year old after a long lay off due to an injury.
“Apparently she got kicked while in the paddock, the area she was kicked in wasted away and it took 12 months of massage to get her right,” Bartley said.
“Her first run was a good effort and she is not far off a win.”
She runs in Friday’s Hog’s Breath Cafe Maiden (1350m) with Buckley to again ride her.
Bartley has also accepted with the promising To Excess in the Club Toukley RSL Provincial Plate (1200m) but will watch the weather over night before deciding whether to start him.
“He had a gut buster first up on a heavy 10 when he won at Gosford so I am a bit worried about giving him another one,” Bartley said.
“That’s not to say he won’t start because he pulled up really well and looks very healthy.
“I’ll make a final decision in the morning.”
1-12.20, HOG’S BREATH CAFÉ MAIDEN, 1350m: HOUDINI HAL 1, Just William 2, Naretha 3, Satirical Dame 4.
2-12.55, ADVANCE DESIGN MAIDEN, 1600m: LEVEL EIGHT 1, Plateau 2, Prince Morpheus 3, Present Sense 4.
3-1.35, FARRAR LEGAL 3YO MAIDEN, 1350m: LASQUETI SPIRIT 1, Regenesis 2, Pindara 3, The Happy Lady 4.
4-2.10, CLUB TOUKLEY RSL PROVINCIAL PLATE, 1200m: TO EXCESS 1, Tammany Hall 2, Innocent Game 3, Oscar’s Choice 4.
5-2.50, WIDELINE WINDOWS AND DOORS MAIDEN, 1100m: CREDIBLE WITNESS 1, Brittany 2, Madame Lily 3, Penny Fling 4.
6-3.25, CONFIDENCE INSURED BENCHMARK 60, 1100m: VANILOQUIO 1, Machinegun Jubs 2, Torchbearer 3, Diamond Of Destiny 4.
7-4.05, PRIORITY BUSINESS LAWYERS BENCHMARK 65, 1350m: SUDDEN BLITZ 1, Me No Marsh Potato 2, Stradance 3, Kite Hill 4.
8-4.45, BJ HOWES METALAND CLASS TWO, 1600m: STROKE OF EIGHT 1, Trinity River 2, Element Of Luck 3, Waltzing Willie 4.
Best Bets: Credible Witness, Sudden Blitz.