Temperate Prince, the only local horse engaged in Sunday’s Coonamble Cup, has had a remarkable turnaround in fortunes from his early career.
Prepared by wily bush horseman Robbie Harrison, a former harness racing enthusiast, the now eight-year-old gelding was lucky to even make it to the racetrack let alone being a chance of providing the 50-something trainer with a dream home town Cup win in the $30,000 1600m feature.
Foaled in 2003, it wasn’t until June 2008 that Temperate Prince had his first start.
“When he was broken in he was vicious, an atrocious bugger,” Harrison said.
“One day he came at me, ended up going through a fence, stripped his ligaments, did all sorts of damage.
“He was a shocker then, good now though.”
If you told Harrison the Carry The Crown gelding would one day be contesting the Coonamble Cup, he would have laughed.
However, Temperate Prince, a typical bush-hardened gelding, has come a long way since winning his maiden at Gulargambone in October 2008.
From 44 starts for part-owners Roger Nalder and Anita Murray, son and daughter of the late well-known trotting identity Neville Nalder, Temperate Prince has recorded 10 wins and 13 placings.
“He’s the only decent horse I’ve got,” Harrison, a lifetime Coonamble resident based on a property just outside the town, said.
“It’s a matter of trying to keep finding the right races for him, races he can win, but he keeps getting cheques, done pretty good.
“He’s one of those horses, gets back in his races and when they get back you’ve got to expect they’re going to run into trouble at times.”
Trouble struck big time for Temperate Prince four starts back in the 1600m Narromine Cup.
“Should have just about won that,” Harrison said.
“They went slow which didn’t suit him. He went to the line hard held.”
As for Temperate Prince’s last-start second to Eclair Magique in the Collarenebri Cup (1400m) on September 17, Harrison’s dry wit came to the fore.
“I missed him somewhere, thought he could win that,” he said.