Oh, he did go
HORSES can be bought, sold, given away and leased but a straight swap is somewhat of a rarity.
Just ask the owners of yesterday's impressive Grafton winner Oh He Will Go.
The local syndicate headed by Russell Graham raced a mare named Miss Impact who recorded three wins.
However, with her career headed towards the breeding barn, the group were offered a deal to make a clean swap with the seven-year-old mare for then two-year-old, Oh He Will Go.
John Chappell of Armidale was looking for a broodmare and through trainer John Shelton, a deal was eventually struck. Chappell had raced several horses with Shelton.
"It was an unusual swap but none of them are complaining now," Graham said after the three-year-old scored a half-length win in the Maclean Bowling Club Maiden (1410m) leading throughout with Ben Looker in the saddle.
"He had one preparation as a two-year-old and this time in work has been unlucky not to win one earlier," Graham added. "He's still as green as grass but he's coming good."
"He's green and won the race on raw ability," the Grafton raised jockey said.
Graham and his mates might just have a more than handy conveyance on their hands.
Oh He Will Go is by Oh Oklahoma, previously trained by Tim Martin in Sydney.
The talented gelding, who started favourite in the Kingston Town Stakes, won three races from 12 starts before being retired to stud.
In two years at stud (2008-09), Oh Oklahoma produced only 10 foals including Oh He Will Go, the only offspring to win.
And in a twist, Oh Oklahoma had been put back into work as a nine-year-old, minus his undercarriage. Martin recently had him gelded.
Oh Oklahoma finished third in a Rosehill barrier trial on April 2.
While Oh He Will Go was impressive, Port Macquarie trainer Jenny Graham looks to have a real prospect in Rebel Dancer.
The fleet-footed two-year-old filly blitzed her rivals by 5 1/2 lengths, winning the Westlawn Finance Hcp (1000m) in a class record 56.54sec. That's nearly low-level flying!
"Always had an opinion of her but didn't want to say too much," the respected trainer suggested. "She's a lovely filly and goes good."
Rebel Dancer was selected by South African owner-breeder Veronica Scott-Mason.
"Paid $25,000 for her at the Magic Million sales.
"Paid the same for Border Rebel. That's always my limit," she said.
Winning jockey Peter Graham told connections on dismounting: "I gave her a bit of a dig and she went whoosh.
"She's a ready-made filly with plenty of ability."
Matthew Bennett scored aboard Mauled for Grafton trainer Bruce Swan and Clasped for Leo Clapham.
Owned by Swan and Ron Skinner, hardy gelding Mauled swooped late to win the Schweppes Open Hcp (1410m).
"Wish I had a stable full of horse like Mauled," Swan stated. "He's honest and rarely runs us a bad race."
Albury Guineas placegetter Falklands had a fight on his hands before prevailing as odds on favourite in the Winning Edge Presentations Hcp (1710m).
Ridden by Alan Chau, the Marc Quinn-trained three-year-old was twice headed in the straight but fought back to win narrowly.