Russell Osborne out to break metro maiden

 Despite a life-time involved in horse racing, mainly with home-bred horses, Osborne, who usually has six or seven in work, has never tasted success in the city.

After winning a Tatura trial, Flying Ferret, a two-year-old gelding by Redente, will make his racetrack debut at Caulfield in the $35,000 The Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1000m). 

“He’s going alright, it’s caught us a bit by surprise how he’s going so we thought we would come down to town to test him and see how he is actually going,” Osborne said.

“He sat inside leading, there was one outside him and once they straightened they both quickened together and went to the line pretty nice.”

Flying Ferret has drawn barrier nine in the 12-horse field where he will be ridden by John Keating who was also aboard the gelding for his trial win.

“I’d sooner have an inside gate, but we’ve been dealt the cards, he won’t have to stand there long and he’ll go forward from there,” Osborne said.

“It was just a coincidence John Keating was standing there and he didn’t have a ride in the trial and he got to ride him in the trial and said ‘we better go to town with him’.”

Flying Ferret’s sire Redente stands at Osborne’s Benalla property for a $1000 service fee.

“He’s Redoute’s Choice out of Stella Cadente, Bob Scarborough bred him, we stand him here, and he’s a very cheap service fee,” Osborne said.

“He just had his first winner at Narrandera by five-lengths on Sunday he wouldn’t have too many to run but he’s building up a nice strike rate with the placings and now he’s got a winner.”

Pretty Possum, a four-year-old mare by Hillman, has drawn barrier one, in Race 5, the $35,000 Benchmark 84 Deadly Design Handicap (1000m).

The mare has raced consistently this preparation including a good win at Bendigo four starts back over 1100m. She has been around the money at her three subsequent runs with Osborne hoping the good draw can lead to a successful day at the races.

“It’s a real big help for her but that’s probably one of the strongest races she’s been in but she’ll be thereabouts,” Osborne said.

“We’ve always drawn the outside gate, we’ve only drawn the inside gates twice, the time she drew barrier six at Bendigo, Bossy rode her and she won and this is the other time so we are a little bit excited.”

“Pretty Possum is by our other stallion Hillman. He has fertility problems so we can’t take a lot of mares for him but he’s really good value to.”

Osborne revealed his children had played a major role in giving his horses very distinctive names.

“We name them all after animals and the kids just find a name to go with it, we have Flying Ferret, Squeaky Squirrel and Cheeky Chinchilla,” he said.