Tim Donnelly’s English and Irish sojourn last year has proven instrumental in the development of stayer-in-the-making Traded, who lines up at Goulburn on Sunday.
What the former Randwick, now Wagga-based trainer gleaned was far from Irish blarney.
Traded’s debut win in an 1800m maiden at Wagga on October 15 was testimony to Donnelly’s new-found methods.
The gelding’s promise will be further tested when he steps up considerably in grade in the Ecolab Southern Highlands Benchmark 60 Hcp (2130m).
“It was good to look at how they (Europeans) train,” Donnelly said.
“Unlike Australian horses, I was surprised how little condition their horses carry. They get them fit differently, especially the stayers.
“They take their time with their work, take personal care of the horses.
“John Size was the same. Once the horse is fit, you don’t need to gallop them much.
“I haven’t trained Traded like an Aussie horse. Surprisingly he didn’t take a lot of work to be ready first-up over 1800 metres.
“If he started in Europe, he would have begun at 2400 metres.
“The horse can stay, he’s got a future over longer distances. Whether he’s got the necessary class, time will tell.”
Traded is a New Zealand-bred son of Galileo out of the Zabeel mare Crystalline who was initially purchased by Melbourne racing personality Lloyd Williams for $140,000 at a ready-to-run sale.
Donnelly picked up Traded, unraced, at auction for $17,000 in June.
“I took a punt, hopefully it pays off,” Donnelly said.
“He more than paid for himself winning first-up.
“I had another horse by Galileo, Devised, who I won two races with.
“Apparently Lloyd had an opinion of Traded but he was only very lightly-framed and they decided to cull him.
“He’s very sound. He wouldn’t win a track gallop but is a lovely mover.
“It’s been a matter of keeping condition on him. He’s an out-and-out stayer and to be honest I was surprised how little work he required to have him ready first-up over 1800 metres.
“Since then I’ve probably only given him one gallop. The horse is well, his condition is about the same, he’s real good in the coat.
“Yes, it’s a big step up in grade Sunday but the distance is what appeals.
“He’ll spell after the race and hopefully come back a better horse.”
Kathy O’Hara has the mount with Guy Walter’s last-start Wyong winner and race favourite Maghreb to be ridden by Jeff Penza.