Cup smiles Ear to here
By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
THE horse has got over the grumps and found his appetite and the trainer is smiling. Veteran Rosehill trained stayer Ears Ronny has finally settled in and is back on track for his crack at tomorrow's $35,000 Tooheys New Lismore Cup (2100m). Ears Ronny, which arrived in Lismore last Sunday with Rosehill trainer Anthony Olsen's four other gallopers, was not a happy horse for the first 24 hours. He would not eat or drink and was sulking in his box and the trainer was frowning. "We took him out and gave him a good walk and a pick on Monday afternoon and it really brightened him up," Olsen said. "He ate up that night and had a good drink and was a totally different horse when I got him out of his box this morning. "Everything is right with the world again and I think he will run a big race." Ears Ronny had his first look at the track yesterday morning when he worked over 1000m with Leeann Olsen aboard, coming home solidly the last 400 metres. That was his first serious hit-out since his last-start second to Don Raphael in the Tatts Plate (2400m) at Warwick Farm on September 4. The Lismore Cup will be his first run for Olsen who took over the horse after his former trainer, John McNair, was disqualified for 12 months. Olsen is delighted with the 56kg that Ears Ronny will carry. The trainer won last year's Lismore Cup with Our Eeyore and rates Ears Ronny a much classier stayer. Although 10 years old and the veteran of 120 starts the horse's legs are sound and his last-start second indicates he has not lost his zest for racing. In his long career Ears Ronny has won 12 races and run 19 placings and has led the field up in two Sydney Cups including a fifth last year behind Honor Babe, beaten only 2.2 lengths. A field of 17 has accepted for the cup although there has been one early scratching with Trendy Time coming out. Twenty horses have accepted for the $25,000 Harvey Norman Big Maiden (1200m) with the Bede Murray-trained Captain Venturi, to be ridden by Zac Purton, drawing barrier 13. The horse has been at the Gold Coast preparing for this race since he ran second at Kembla Grange on September 11. "After he ran second the owner turned to me and suggested we send him up for the Lismore Cup," Murray said. "It seemed a good idea so we put him on the float the following Wednesday and sent him up." Murray is also at the Gold Coast supervising the horse's preparation.