Donnelly hoping for change of fortune
By Michael Guerin
Top local trainer Arna Donnelly is hoping Kango and New York Minute can put a smile back on the face of her stable staff at Cambridge tonight.
Because Donnelly and her people were left with heavy hearts after promising pacer Oroua had to be put down this week after a mystifying accident.
The son of Sweet Lou was a brave third at Alexandra Park last Friday and looked a horse for the future but suffered a fractured fetlock under unusual circumstances.
“He was a really good third and I walked him out after the race and he was fine,” explains Donnelly.
“So I went to have a coffee and wasn’t away for more than about 10 minutes and when I came back he couldn’t put his leg on the ground.
“It was very strange because he was not the sort of horse who would kick out and hurt himself and all we can think is maybe he did something during the race and it didn’t show up until he cooled down.”
Oroua was operated on on Saturday morning and had screws placed in his leg but got an infection and had to be put down on Monday.
“It is really tough when that happens, for me and the staff,” explains Donnelly.
“You get to know the horses so well when you are with them day in, day out and to see his hopples hanging in the gear room knowing he is gone just like that is tough.
“But we move on because you have to.” That moving on involves taking four horses to Cambridge tonight (Thursday) including two likely Jewels reps in Kango and New York Minute who will contest tonight’s main pacer over the 2700m mobile.
Both come out of the Taylor Mile and Messenger where they finished well back behind Copy That but Donnelly says Kango will improve for tonight.
“It is hard in that grade, especially for a horse like him who is still learning as this is his first season and he is now in almost open class races at The Park.
“But this week looks a drop back from him and I actually think he will be better than he was in the big four-year-old races.
“I think he was just a touch below his best there, maybe a little dull but his coat looks better and he seems happier so I think you might see any even better Kango this week.” Donnelly says big Kango is the best of the stable’s four chances but warns to watch out for Rough And Ready (R5, No.8) when he gets a better draw somewhere soon.