With racing pumping through his veins, Philip Courtney made the decision to make his hobby a full-time job.
The fledgling Canberra trainer will hit the highway in search of his second and possibly third Sydney winner at Canterbury on Wednesday with Maryore and Lostasock.
Before switching to full-time training earlier in the year, Courtney usually had two or three horses in work.
“My dad and uncle trained racehorses,” Courtney said.
“I rode in races for a while and my brothers have ridden in races so it’s sort of in the blood.”
He now has a team of 10 in work. Five are racing and the other five are unraced two- and three-year-olds.
And success has started to come, with five winners and three placings from the stable’s last 16 starters.
“We try to get the horses fit and put them in the right races that they’ve always got an opportunity to win,” Courtney said.
Maryore gave Courtney his first city winner at Canterbury over 1550m on September 7 and was fourth at Warwick Farm in a 1600m race on September 21.
The mare is set to run in the #TheRaces Handicap (1900m) on Wednesday.
With form over 2000m in Adelaide, Courtney is confident the distance will not be an issue.
“I think she’ll be very, very hard to beat,” Courtney said.
“She only has to run up to her last two runs and I think she’s right in the finish of it.”
Maryore’s owner Joe Palombi is Courtney’s business partner and transferred the horse from Peter Blanch’s Morphettville stable.
The new arrival opened Courtney’s Sydney account, but he is hoping old stager Lostasock can also add to the tally in the Schweppes Handicap.
The now five-year-old came to the stable as a yearling when he was one of two horses trained by Courtney.
“His form is a little bit patchy but we found out this prep that he’s having a little bit of issue with tying up,” Courtney said.
“We’ve sorted that problem out and his form has been good for this preparation.
“It doesn’t look an overly strong race for a midweek so I think he’ll run a very nice race for us.”