LAST HOPE: From left Gary McCormick, Eddie Clack, trainer Bruce Swan and co-owner Ron Skinner with horse Skinz Hope.
LAST HOPE: From left Gary McCormick, Eddie Clack, trainer Bruce Swan and co-owner Ron Skinner with horse Skinz Hope.

Owner?s trifecta of bad luck

By TONY WHITE

twhite@dailyexaminer.com.au

AFFABLE Grafton business identity and racehorse owner Ron Skinner can readily attest to the old adage: 'bad luck comes in threes.'

Last Friday Skinz Hope, owned by Skinner, local pest controller Garry McCormick and optometrist Eddie Clack, resumed over 810m at Coffs Harbour.

The lightly raced five-year-old was expected to perform well, but finished a disappointing 10th of 10, a victim of track bias and bad luck.

"We had something on him too," Skinner rued.

Next morning news worsened for Skinner.

Another of his horses, Skinz Eagle had missed starting at Coffs after kicking his hoof on a railing just above the coronet in Casino.

Initial opinion was it was only bruising but, Skinz Eagle was found to be badly distressed on Saturday morning.

"The injury got infected and went right through his blood system," Skinner revealed.

"It blew up like cow's black leg. The gas gets into the muscle system and blows everything up. They had to stick knives in him everywhere to let the gas out.

"It's a 90 per cent fatal disease."

Skinz Eagle remains in a critical condition fighting for its life.

To round out a bad weekend, on Sunday, multiple winner Moccabraun, suffered a series of superficial injuries, bruising and 'bark off her everywhere' when the mare, who was in season, played up badly during a float trip.

"We have to wait until the swelling subsides to fully assess the damage and what her future holds," Skinner said.

Having lunch with a couple of mates on Monday and relaying his tale of woe, another friend of Skinner's sidled up and unknowingly asked: "Had any luck with your horses lately?"

Skinner's rapid response left little to imagination.

Defeat and anguish can spark some classic quotes from owners which brings to mind Jeff Perry's clanger after his champion Vo Rogue, trained by the late Vic Rail, was beaten by outsider Dandy Andy as odds on favourite in the 1988 Australian Cup at Flemington.

"Just another splinter up the bum in the great banister of life," Perry said as he stood non-plussed in the runner-up stall.

Skinner may well agree.

Meanwhile, Skinz Hope will be out to redeem himself when he lines up again in the Clarence Riverboats/Northern Rivers Recycling/W Cotton Handicap (1000m).



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