Connolly and his co-owner Margie Hansen.
Connolly and his co-owner Margie Hansen.

Owners have big plans for former Waterhouse horse at Lismore

WHEN you have a horse originally owned by Gai Waterhouse, you've hedged your bets well.

Providing the track isn't wet for this year's Lismore Cup, local trainer Sharon Pepper will race five-year-old gelding Connolly, hoping he crosses the line first.

Connolly, whose stable name is Fergal, was a $70,000 yearling given originally to Waterhouse.

She had him for a year before selling him to Mr and Mrs Pepper and third owner Margie Hansen for a steal at $1300.

Connolly is Ms Hansen's first race horse and she is reportedly so taken with the animals she has moved from the beach to be closer to the stables, buying the farm next door in Numulgi.

"He's won about $30,000 for us so far," Mrs Pepper said, clearly happy with the horse's performance.

Connolly has been racing since March and has run a few good races, winning one and gaining places in others.

"He's still quite young for a stayer at this time," said Mrs Pepper, who is looking for his performance to keep getting better.

She has been training horses for 15 years but has never had a run in the Lismore Cup.

"So it's pretty exciting," she said.

Connolly's owners are hoping it will be dry for the cup as the horse doesn't run in the wet. Mrs Pepper's father was chairman of the Lismore Turf Club.



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