Bargain buy a winner for Warrnambool trainer

BARGAIN basement buy Hawaiian Princess could add more money to her owners’ coffers when it runs in a $15,000 restricted race over 1700 metres at Warrnambool today.

Warrnambool trainer Patrick Ryan parted with $3800 to buy Hawaiian Princess at a June Thoroughbred sale in Melbourne. The mare was formerly trained by Sydney trainers Guy Walter and David Vandyke.

From its two runs for Ryan, the four-year-old mare was an unlucky third at Mount Gambier before scoring an easy win at Ararat earlier this month, giving the hobby trainer great confidence going into today’s race.

“She was a certainty beaten at Mount Gambier at her first run for me. She was caught up on the rails and had nowhere to go when slow horses dropped back on her. She flew home over the concluding stages. We had a few dollars on her at the Mount. It was a crying shame she got beat,” Ryan said.

“Hawaiian Princess’s win at Ararat was an excellent effort. She won by three lengths but there was a fair distance between the second and third horse. I expect she’ll run very well today. She’s drawn a good barrier and will appreciate the 1700 metres.”

Ryan is no stranger to winning races with bargain basement buys. He won the 2008 Warrnambool Cup with Video Star after paying $4000 for her before selling her as a black type winning mare for $130,000. Electric Ernie, Maddison Lane and Caroun, cast-offs from other trainers, have won city races for Ryan.

“I put in a fair bit of research before I buy any horses at the mixed sales. I suppose I’ve been very lucky with some of my purchases,” he said.

“We’ve won $10,000 in stakemoney with Hawaiian Princess from two runs. I’m not sure how far Hawaiian Princess will go but at this stage she’s going well. We’ll get over today before making any further plans for her.”

Top steeplechaser Man Of Class returns to Warrnambool on the flat in a highweight handicap over 3087 metres as a stepping stone to the Oakbank Great Eastern Steeplechase and the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase.

The 10-year-old ran second in last year’s Grand Annual and is following a similar path to running in the feature jumping race at Warrnambool again, according to his trainer Ciaron Maher.

“We’re putting the miles into his legs. The run on the flat at Warrnambool today is another part of the process,” Maher said.

“We’ll take Man Of Class back over to Oakbank at Easter before having another crack at the Grand Annual. His best efforts are on good tracks so we don’t want the weather to break too early.”

The first of eight races today is scheduled to begin at 1pm.

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