Clarry Conners’ bid to get Brisbane jockey Ric McMahon to ride for his Sydney stable has been thwarted by the Chilean volcanic ash cloud.
Conners booked McMahon for three rides at Warwick Farm on Wednesday with a view to a more permanent arrangement.
But with flights over eastern Australia cancelled or delayed, McMahon is unable to fulfil his first engagements for the Warwick Farm trainer.
Late on Tuesday, Conners was still to find replacement riders for Ruby Love, Casa Star and Ollein Blaze.
McMahon made a fleeting visit and an immediate impression two weeks ago when he won on Tamworth horse Altonio in his only ride at the Canterbury meeting.
Conners said he had been forced to search further afield due to the high demand for Sydney’s leading riders.
“I’ve watched Ric ride over the years, he rode a winner at Canterbury a couple of weeks ago and I watched him again in Brisbane last week,” Conners said.
“He can ride the weight and I’m sick and tired of ringing 18 riders trying to get a jockey each time.”
A few years ago Conners lured Peter Robl to Sydney from the NSW Riverina region and they formed a successful combination.
“I got Peter Robl up here because I needed a rider,” Conners said.
“You try and get the best riders and the big stables have got them.
“I’d like to get someone used to riding the horses, to get to know them and that can stay with them.
“As it is I’m constantly swapping and changing. It’s only two of the main stables that can hang on to riders. Only Gai (Waterhouse) and Darley can get the same riders when they want them.
“I can get Nash (Rawiller) one day and he wins on a horse but then I can’t get him for its next four starts.”
Conners is hoping two-year-old Ruby Love can go one better than her debut second to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Queen Cleopatra when she runs in Wednesday’s Casula Handicap (1200m).
“I think she ran super on debut,” Conners said.
“The race was on a heavy track and she made up ground when it was hard to do so. With improvement out of that I expect her to run a nice race again.”