Cliff Bashford learnt another tough racing lesson at Canterbury recently but the one time nomad will return to the track on Wednesday.
“I couldn’t believe there was a horse out there that would beat mine by seven lengths in a race over 1100m,” Bashford said on Tuesday.
The now Taree based horseman was talking about el cheapo Emperor Of Oz which was blitzed by the John O’Shea-trained Charge Account at Canterbury last time round.
“Mine always seems to run into one a bit better, take that thing of O’Shea’s the other night,” Bashford said.
Splitting Bashford’s galloper and O’Shea’s winner was Trial Ground which Emperor Of Oz takes on in the opening event at the mid-week Canterbury meeting.
Racing NSW veterinarians reported after the Canterbury event that Emperor Of Oz suffered a bout of the thumps.
“The heart was certainly out of rhythm,” Bashford said.
“It was a very hot night, he suffered for sure, didn’t pull up well but he has done a treat since, done well in the stable and on the training track.”
Emperor Of Oz was plucked out of the Magic Millions Sale ring for a price of $35,000 as a yearling.
“That’s interesting,” Bashford said.
“He is a second hand horse, a horse we picked up on the way through. He would have been tried before we got him but obviously didn’t measure up.
“I got him through the Inglis sale yard, paid $5,000 for him at a tried horse sale.”
Emperor Of Oz had a blackout first time at the races for Bashford when finishing eighth in a maiden at Taree back in March.
But in each of five runs since Emperor Of Oz has managed to finish in the placings for earnings of $14,145. It could have been a bit more if things had gone right for the three-year-old.
“You’d think he was going to win a few races,” Bashford said.
“He has been a bit unlucky I suppose, he has run into some decent horses on the way through.
“I thought he could win a race at Port [Macquarie] back in September and Kristian Lees arrived with a horse called Rad which beat us and then went on to win down there.”
So Bashford, who gave the training caper away several years back and spent time fishing “way up north”, has done the form for Canterbury.
The man who trained high quality sprinter Cangronde and perennial winners like Steel City, Diamond Benny and Black Chariot to name a few only has one worry.
“I did ring the ATC this morning and asked them about the track, was told it was a slow seven but Canterbury does dry out,” Bashford said.
“Looking at the race, doing the form my horse and Trial Ground did run into a smart one last time round.
“Charge Account did win again at Warwick Farm last Saturday so the form has been franked and I’m confident my bloke has improved again.”
By Craig Young