Handy horse born and bred at Ballina
NOTHINGFORTHEPRESS is a locally-born and bred five-year-old gelding developing into "half a handy horse” for his owner and trainer but tackling the 1600m $50,000 Slipway Hotel Ballina Summer Cup (1600m) for the first time tomorrow.
The son of Pressday is one of four geldings trained by Ballina-based trainer Stephen Lee entered in tomorrows feature race on a Showcase race day where there is $270,000 in prizemoney on offer.
Stephen Lee has entered Nothingforthepress, Pleased, Spiral and Voltaire Lumiere. Nothingforthepress has drawn best in barrier seven with Ryan Plumb to ride while the other three have drawn 11, 14 and 13 respectively.
Nothingforthepress has won his last two starts (at Ipswich) over 1350m and would give his owner/breeder Greg Nash a wonderful "present”.
Nash retired as president of the Ballina Jockey Club in January after five years at the helm.
"I have a deep affection for the club and its patrons. It would be lovely to win a Ballina Cup. I'd rather win a Ballina Cup than a Melbourne Cup,” Nash said.
Winning it with Nothingforthepress would be even better considering he bred the gelding at his family's farm at Coopers Shoot, near Bangalow.
Greg has a stone fruit orchard, grazes cattle and has a small broodmare stud where he breeds five or six foals every year.
"Nothingforthepress was one of the 2013 crop,” he recalled of a gelding who has now won five of his 23 starts for $91,155 in prizemoney.
"Had four on the ground that year and he was the one I judged less than the rest.
"We took him to the Magic Millions Sale but no-one wanted him, so we brought him home.”
So he's become something of an ugly duckling tale. Over the past 18 months Nash said the gelding has put on weight and filled out.
"I've raced him sparingly,” Nash said of a gelding who didn't race until he was three.
"Only had the 23 starts. Let him grow up and he's grown into himself.”
- Geoff Newling