Sending a horse on their first interstate assignment without any of its regular handlers can be an unsettling experience.
Not just for the horse but also the trainer and strapper.
Ballarat-based trainer Dan O’Sullivan has Affair To Remember heading to Morphettville on Saturday to contest the Australasian Oaks, chasing a first Group One victory for both.
It will be Affair To Remember’s first interstate assignment and the filly is the $5 favourite for the 2000m race for three-year-old fillies.
Because of COVID-19 protocols requiring anyone entering South Australia to undergo two weeks isolation, O’Sullivan and the filly’s regular strapper are unable to travel for Saturday’s race.
Instead O’Sullivan is relying on good friend, Morphettville trainer Stuart Gower, to watch over and then saddle Affair To Remember on Saturday.
“One of the things that can’t be understated is the people that are looking after these horses,” O’Sullivan said.
“If I was going over, her usual strapper would be going as well, but that isn’t allowed.
“So you need to find someone to rely on, especially with some of these young fillies.
“An old gelding, who has been around the traps a little bit is usually pretty good to deal with, but some of these fillies can get a bit flighty especially being as fit and as well as they are and being away from home.
“They have little habits and traits and can be a little bit spoilt and get their own way a little bit, but hopefully this filly won’t be too bad.
“She did do a little bit of her early work over in Adelaide with Phillip Stokes before she came to me so hopefully the experience won’t be too bad for her.”