By GRAHAME TIMBRELL
LEADING trainer Gerald Ryan is sending former Sydney galloper Shockeroo to Lismore today on a mission of survival.
And it is being left to young Gold Coast apprentice Adam Russo to ensure Shockeroo wins and maintains his present lifestyle.
If Shockeroo wins, the horse's connections will leave the seven-year-old with Ryan and continue to race him. However, if he fails, Shockeroo will be sold.
Shockeroo, which will start in the Professional Investment Services Christmas Cup (1200m), has been at Ryan's Gold Coast stables since the middle of the year but has had only two starts for him.
He failed at his first start for Ryan on the Sunshine Coast but returned there on December 19 to run a much improved fifth, beaten four lengths.
The horse was previously trained at Hawkesbury by Noel Mayfield-Smith.
"This horse has had a heap of joint problems so we just took him along steadily to try to get him back to somewhere near his old form," Ryan said.
"The boys that own him are keen to buy another yearling but they have also been in two minds about what to do with this horse.
"That first run was a shocker but his last run left us thinking he might still have a future.
"The Lismore race is perfect for him so the owners decided to keep him if he wins but sell him if he gets beaten."
Shockeroo has won seven races ? two at Hawkesbury and once each at Randwick, Canterbury, Rosehill, Newcastle and Muswellbrook.