This COVID thing has, in its own, annoying way, cost us all money.
Let’s not even look at the cost of inconvenience, but while racing continues in Australia (and boy, aren’t we all glad about that), some deep within our sport are still hurting.
Race clubs aren’t getting gate receipts for example. On track vendors aren’t getting any revenue, corporate bookies aren’t taking bets on any sport other than racing, early morning kitchens at tracks have stopped. The list goes on and on.
But here’s an unconventional one.
Sure, yes, we have come to expect strange times and even stranger restrictions happening, but there was no way on God’s Earth that anyone saw jocks missing top rides…while racing was on.
Take NSW’s leading bush jockey, Greg Ryan as an example.
He is stuck in his western region riding zone which he cannot leave.
Well, Ryan has no intention of breaking the Racing NSW boundary rules which is why he will miss out on riding at Randwick this afternoon in Day 1 of The Championships.
If not for the boundary rules, he would have made one of his rare trips to town to ride HEALING HANDS in the $400,000 Country Championships Final over 1400m.
And as I know you’re aware, country hoops don’t get many opportunities to ride in $400,000 races!
Healing Hands (I Am Invincible-Miss Alberta) has raced on 8 occasions thus far and has trialed 4 times.
Greg Ryan has been on his back every single time! And when you consider Ryan lives at Dubbo, the horse is trained by Gaynor Williams at Mudgee and the races and trials have been as far reaching like Scone, Randwick, Muswellbrook, etc, you see a clear pattern form.
Grey Ryan not only likes this horse, he has the utmost faith in him.
Healing Hands has won 5 times including an easy win the Mudgee leg of the Country Championships Heats.
He comfortably, arrogantly actually, beat home Electrified who races in the Final today with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Then Healing hands came out at Randwick at his next start and final lead-up to the big one today, and was a good thing beaten when 3rd to Grand Piano after racing 3-deep throughout.
He comes to headquarters for the most important race of his career, in prime health, best form, with a live chance and hopeful of a big run. Gr 1 winning rider Adam Hyeronimus, who cut his riding teeth growing up watching Ryan race ride out in the west, then competing against him there, has the mount today.
Life is indeed strange.
Now, as sad as all that is for Ryan….the plot worsened overnight.
When he found out he wasn’t allowed to ride at Randwick, he accepted a great book of rides at the Wellington Day 1 race card set down for the day.
Day 2 is on Sunday and features the $200,000 Wellington Boot where Ryan has a huge chance on top of PEE DEE.
But last night, rain washed out Day 1!