Long journey for Special Voyage
By ADAM HICKS
SPECIAL Voyage has had a long journey between races.
Bought in a syndicate by Ballina trainer Danny Bowen in July, the six-year-old was brought up from Melbourne for the Ballina and Lismore cups, but hasn't had a race since the equine influenza outbreak.
When he jumps in the Ballina Open Handicap tomorrow, Bowen will breathe a sigh of relief as a five-week racing ban ends.
"I'm glad there's a meeting, for all concerned," he said.
"We've been going around in circles for five weeks.
"Everyone's pretty sad, I just hope it all goes to play and we can race constantly.
"We have been fortunate. It's five weeks now and touch wood, there have been no cases.
"We're the lucky ones the virus hasn't hit.
"But everyone seems to think they are right, then it pops up.
"We just have to be careful."
Special Voyage is one of 16 horses Bowen has racing at Ballina tomorrow.
"This is first time we've had a look at him," Bowen said.
"I expect him to go well. He's done well since he's been here and it's exciting to have a horse with his ability.
"He's going to benefit from the run, like all the horses.
"Realistically, he needs better races to have less weight but we are held to the meeting because we can't travel, and the horse has to go around."
Bowen said the long wait between races would make it hard to pick winners tomorrow.
"They've all got chances, that's all I can say," he said.