Coming good on a promise
By TONY WHITE
A PROMISE made good over a few beers at the Asquith Bowling Club in Sydney was the catalyst for a successful partnership between local trainer Greg Howells and the owners of Grafton Guineas contender, Foreshore.
Howells was drinking at the well-known watering hole and met up with Sydney-based racehorse owner Kevin Williams and a couple of his mates.
After discussions, Williams agreed to send Howells a horse to train, and true to his word Foreshore arrived in Grafton as a weanling.
However, a paddock accident when Foreshore badly cut his hind leg, curtailed his racetrack career for more than 12 months. He wasn't even broken in at the time.
After the mishap, Williams sent another horse to Howells, Foreshore's full-brother Sandy Shore (Sandpit-Sionosa), who arrived eight months later and the mare has subsequently won seven races and prizemoney in excess of $78,000.
After an inauspicious beginning to life as a racehorse, Foreshore eventually mended and was broken in by Vanessa Medhurst, who nicknamed Foreshore 'Sam'.
"Sandy Shore is called Sandy, we try to keep things pretty basic," Howells said.
After two trials Foreshore made his racetrack debut winning at the Gold Coast on January 28 then backed up at the same track to win again on February 18.
Howells put the gelding away for a 66 day spell and Foreshore returned in his current preparation at Eagle Farm on April 25.
Next time out he was narrowly beaten at Scone then finished third to Brave Regent on a heavy track at Newcastle before his last start sixth to Hardrock Diamond over 1500m at Eagle Farm on June 28.
"It was a pretty good run," Howells said.
"The false rail was out 10 metres and he covered ground from the 800 metres out wide."
Today's $30,000 Tursa Employment & Training Grafton Guineas over 1600m is a tough race with numerous chances, but Howells set Foreshore for a home-track feature win as far back as his second start in a race earlier this year.
Graftonians love winning races over the July Racing Carnival and Howells is hoping Lady Luck is on his and the owners side.
Foreshore is owned by Williams, his Brisbane-based brother Gary, Kevin Gibson who resides in Scone, Sydney-based Peter Thorley and Howells.
According to the trainer Foreshore and five-year-old Sandy Shore are "totally different types.
"He's taller and no where near as thick set as the mare. Foreshore has still got growing, maturing and filling out to do but he's heading in the right direction."