Squeaky Squirrel and Pretty Possum more than just nifty names

TAB markets illustrate their popularity. On Friday afternoon Squeaky Squirrel was $6 on the tote but $18 fixed odds to win race three and Pretty Possum $4.90 on the tote and $8 fixed odds in race four.

Other horses in Osborne’s small stable are Cheeky Chinchilla, Billabong Babe and unraced two-year-olds Mighty Magpie, Typhoon Tiger and Brilliant Beaver.

Osborne said his father Adrian used the moniker Uncle for his horses so his twin daughters suggested they use an animal theme and mix it with alliteration.

But Osborne’s horses are garnering attention for their deeds on the racetrack as well as their names. Squeaky Squirrel has won five races from 28 starts and $119,280 and Pretty Possum has eight wins from 51 starts for $215,925.

But Osborne wasn’t brimming with confidence about his prospects on Saturday.

“When you’ve only won one race as a trainer in Melbourne, you can’t be confident, but both are pretty honest horses who will run well,” he said.

Osborne trains a handful of horses made up of the four or five he breeds each year.

Before Billabong Babe broke his city drought at Moonee Valley last year he had endured a frustrating run of numerous placings.

“That was a great thrill as we’d had many placings waiting for the win,” he said.

Both Squeaky Squirrel and Billabong Babe are by Osborne’s unheralded stallion Redente who is making a name for himself from limited opportunities at his Riverbank Farm Stud, Benalla.

Recently he sired a trifecta at Albury and his progeny also include recent winners Stella The Boss, Gangstar’s Curse and Redente’s Edge among his 24 winners from 42 runners.

Redente is an unraced son of Redoute’s Choice and is out of Group One winner Stella Cadente.

Osborne said his wife, Caroline, was working as an equine vet at Bob Scarborough's near by farm and he suggested they should use him as a stallion.

“He had a cyst above his hoof and he was never going to race so Bob said he’d be a future stallion,” he said.

“He’s made a good start and getting a bit of attention and his horses are finding their ways to bigger stables.”

In 2013 Redente only served 19 mares but that rose to 43 in 2014 and 80 last season at a fee of $2200.

Osborne said Redente’s service fee would be $3300 this season and he would have a big book to serve.

“We’re happy to fill our niche at the low end of the market for small breeders and owners who are after a nice country horse,” he said.

“Our breeders are often farmers and or small breeders who like to race their horses. We aim to keep it affordable. Put it this our horses won’t be in the sales and the mares which visit the stallions aren’t always of the greatest quality so it makes it harder for our stallions.”

Article from Herald Sun