Studies and work commitments have prevented young Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie from returning to Melbourne with Rothera who has figured in a stable switch to Peter Moody.
Currie rocketed into prominence as a teenager in Melbourne last spring when Rothera won the Group Three Betfair Stakes (1400m) on a heavy track at Caulfield in October.
Currie, 20, is nearing the end of his studies for a journalism degree after receiving special permission to defer exams last year to accompany Rothera to Melbourne.
Those studies and a team of 10 horses in work at Toowoomba, plus the financial responsibility of sending a horse interstate, have forced Currie to transfer Rothera to Moody’s stables at Caulfield for his spring campaign.
“It’s disappointing to lose him but I’ve only got one semester to go in my studies and I’ve got 10 other horses to look after here,” Currie said.
“I was going to take him to Sydney last week for the Bill Ritchie at Rosehill but it wasn’t wet enough for him.
“I spoke to his owner Steve Goodair, who is a good friend of the family and has horses with my father (Mark), and it was a mutual agreement to send him to Peter Moody.
“I’m not sure if I’ll ever get him back. It depends how good he goes down there with Peter.”
Currie had nominated Rothera for next month’s Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group One Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley but he’s unsure what plans Moody has in mind for the six-year-old.
Rothera produced a performance well below expectations when the gelding finished last in a seven-horse field to veteran sprinter Anyways in a 1200-metre Open Handicap at Eagle Farm on September 3.
It was his first run for six months since winning the Listed Tattersall’s Members’ Cup (1600m) on a heavy track at Eagle Farm.
The son of Tobougg and fellow Queenslander Phelan Ready received 57.5 kilograms in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Phelan Ready hasn’t won since the 2009 Golden Slipper at Rosehill but showed during the winter, when second to Varenna Miss in the Group Two QTC Cup (1300m) and third to Woorim in the Listed Glasshouse (1400m), that he could be on the way back.
Trainer Jason McLachlan was delighted with Phelan Ready’s first-up effort when a close fourth to Lone Rock in the Group Three Bobbie Lewis (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.
McLachlan, who also saddles up Absalon (56.5kg) in the Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on Saturday, is aiming Phelan Ready at the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday week.
Phelan Ready was runner-up to Danleigh in the 2009 Manikato Stakes.