What a day we had at Shoalhaven City Turf Club on Sunday 20 May for Ladies Day Out and their Cup. The feeling of winning a race (and that is winning at any track) is something that just needs to be experienced – the adrenaline, the excitement, the nerves, the relief, the love for the horse and friendships that are bonded.
All this and more comes from owning a race horse.
Having been around the racing industry for over 30 years, it was always Sharon Lenton’s goal to have a racehorse with all her friends and experience the thrill of racing.
The dream only came true when her good friend Kate Nivison said to Sharon “Here is your chance. I have a couple of good weanlings coming through – would you like to lease a horse?” Taking a big risk Sharon said “yes, I really want to do this”. With Kate keeping a percentage Sharon was determined to make this work especially because of Kate’s trust in her. Through Thoroughbred Events Australia Sharon had met so many amazing woman and so she spread the word “who wants to be in a race horse?”. Sharon’s best friends Julie Steel and Barbara Wenman were first to support this venture with Barb saying her daughter, Gabby, had to be involved and Julie brought in her friend, Beverley Wasley. Other good friends Lorraine Podgornik, Pam Meale and Sarah Baglee did not need much encouraging. It did not take long before Sharon’s milliners came on board the talented Cynthia Jones-Bryson and Carmel Butler. This is without doubt Mark Jackson’s (Sharon’s partner) ultimate dream and now has become their official photographer. When an opening arose the boys then jumped in, John Wenman, Shane Edwards, Stuart Layzell and David Glasheen.
To get to this final group of owners, certainly had its ups and downs but the end result shows an amazing group of people, all enjoying ownership of their gorgeous girl – Cinderconi (Nicconi/Les Yeux Bleus (IRE) – her mother had the most amazing blue eyes).
On and off the track, a wonderful friendship started to bloom with Sharon and Lucy Keegan-Attard. Both girls assisted each other in their individual endeavours.
A year later, It was now time to take on horse number 2 and there was no hesitation on who the new trainer would be for the next group of owners.
Lucy Keegan-Attard and Jason Attard are a dynamic wife and husband duo who live near and train at Hawkesbury Race Club. This couple were exactly what the group were looking for to train Ellebeedee (Al Maher/Artwear) referred to as LBD (Little Black Dress): Jason in early month’s referred to LBD as a bit of a naughty girl. The owners (Sharon Lenton, Etak Thoroughbreds, Barbara Wenman, Gabby Wenman, Helen Field, Jennifer Aumann, Shane Edwards, Stuart Layzell, Colleen Burke, Kevin Burke, Amy Halliday and Lucy Keegan) were able to understand how naughty she was with updates such as “LBD is not wearing any nickers!!!! She is so full of herself”. The owners allowed Jason & Lucy to take their time with her and it has all paid off. In her first preparation Ellebeedee raced a good 5th. She led the whole field around and got tired about 100m from the finish post. A good spell of 16 weeks took her to a trial but she showed signs of still needed to grow. After a further 4 weeks, Ellebeedee won her barrier trial and then it was time to head to the track, one she was now ready for.
Race 3 on Ladies Day Out at Shoalhaven Turf Club, you would have thought Ellebeedee won the Melbourne Cup. There were tears of joy, grins from ear to ear, high 5s, kisses and cuddles – not to mention the screaming when in blistering speed down the outside, she scorched the ground coming from nowhere to WIN with Keagan Latham in the saddle.
On the same day Race 5, saw Cinderconi return to the track after 65 weeks due to injury.
This group of owners held the welfare of the horse in the utmost highest esteem. Immense admiration goes to Sefton Park Thoroughbreds under the careful eye of Colleen Buchanan who nursed her back to such a sweet, confident mare. Cinderconi received the best care and when asked, Trainers Lucy Keegan-Attard and Jason Attard took over the reins and oversaw her every movement during this time. Under the recommendation of our trainers, Cinderconi was sent to Aquagait who initially pre-trained her after her injury using their treadmill and water walker.
Cinderconi is now back and appears free from injury. She fought to the line where there was only a head between 1st to 4th. Cinderconi passed the post 4th but it was still jubilation to all the owners. What a finish – what a thrill – what a return to racing.
So for these two groups of owners, who all dined together, shared each other’s horse, mingled and cheered both horses home together – they, without doubt, got to truly experience the best of what racing offers.
There are highs and there are lows but there is definitely one word you learn ‘patience’.
And with patience brings hope. Hope that your horse stays sound, happy and if all goes well, a win at any track with friends.
This is what racing is all about.
(If you are interested in being part of this group with regards to racing, they have 2 new horses they are about to lease. Contact Sharon 0401290666)