BETTER TIMES: Wayne Lawson with his champion galloper Starlactic in December 2005.
BETTER TIMES: Wayne Lawson with his champion galloper Starlactic in December 2005.

Wounded warrior on track for a Ramornie


IF promising four-year-old Starlactic can win the $125,000 QantasLink Ramornie Hcp (1200m) during the Grafton July Carnival, trainer Wayne Lawson's quick thinking will have played a major part in the fairy tale come true.

Starlactic began his Ramornie build up with a track record breaking win at Kempsey on May 3, breaking a 19-year-old record and in the process proved to 'Henry' Lawson and connections there were no lingering doubts after the gelding's amazing escape from serious injury in a paddock mishap.

Before heading for spell following Starlactic's win in a Class 6 event at Eagle Farm on January 21, Lawson's worst dream nearly turned into a complete nightmare.

He arrived back at his Grafton stables to find Starlactic trapped under a wire fence with blood gushing from multiple wounds.

"He was rolling in the paddock and got caught under a wire fence," Lawson revealed.

"When I arrived it must have just happened. He can be a shocker. He rolls from side to side and about the sixth and last roll, he somehow managed to get under the rail.

"He kept whacking it from underneath, trying to get free. He'd cut a little artery and when I got there it was like a hose, blood was gushing everywhere.

"I got the bandages, was on the phone to the vet and trying to wrap the wounds to stop the bleeding at the same time.

"It was panic stations I can tell you."

Fortunately veterinary help came quickly and Starlactic received 50 stitches.

"The cuts were around his knees and they (vets) didn't know for sure if he'd be all right," Lawson said.

"We gave him a long spell and I thought in myself he was right before Kempsey but until you put them down, you never really know for sure."

Lumping 60.5kg and with Stephen Traecey in the saddle, the part-time electrician's star galloper won the Open Hcp over 1010m in 57.08 to break the previous mark, 52 seconds (hand timed), first set by Mayflower Lad on September 26, 1987 and equalled by Vigil in November 1988 (hand timed) and Piper's Reign (electronic) in February 2000.

"Stephen (Traecey) didn't knock him around and he wore the leader down and hit top gear over the last 80 metres," Lawson said.

"He's pulled up well and will go around again on Doomben 10,000 day (May 27) in Brisbane.

"Our main aim is the Ramornie. I'm going to keep him fresh and spread his races. He may have one or maybe two runs after Doomben before the Ramornie (July 12).

"It's very exciting to have him back again. He's a peoples' horse, a public horse who has created quite a following in our local area. He's a real trier and people get their money's worth every time he goes around."

Starlactic has won $117,000 from 15 starts for eight wins and four placings.

"Hopefully the best is yet to come," Lawson said.

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