VETERAN trainer Danny Curran is savouring a surprise winning double after the success of Sunrose Master and Mia From Memphis at Gunbower on Sunday.
While the win of the five-year-old Sunrose Master was not such a shock – the gelding was a $1.60 favourite – Mia From Memphis’ victory in the next event and the day's final race was more of a wonder.
The five-year-old was chasing her first win since March last year and started as one of the outsiders in betting at $12.30.
But according to Curran, who has trained at Marong for the last 15 years, the mare has always had plenty of ability, as evidenced by his seven wins and four placings in 24 starts.
The 65-year-old was grateful for his change of luck after Sunrose Master in particular had come close to winning at each of his previous four starts at Ballarat, Wedderburn, Boort and Maryborough.
“Two good draws helps … and the drivers (James Herbertson and Ryan Duffy) drove them well. Everything worked to plan for a change,” Curran said.
“I hope there’s a few more wins in each of them …. they should do.
“They’re pretty equal (in ability), if you worked them together there would be very little between them.”
I hope there’s a few more wins in each of them.Danny Curran
The win of Sunrose Master, who has now qualified for the final of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series to be run at Swan Hill on March 7, was especially moving for Curran as the horse was given to him by his close mate Robert Dacey, who succumbed to cancer last year.
“Robert owned and bred him and he had cancer. Just before he died he asked me could I take care of his horse,” he said.
“We’ve had three wins with him now.
“Robert and I did our apprenticeships together and grew up together, so it’s been great to keep the horse going.”
Mia From Memphis is also expected to head to Swan Hill.
Curran, who has been around horses all his life and trained previously at Swan Hill and Charlton, admits he has had some ‘handy horses in the past, but never a top one’.
Among the better ones have been Ambroosky, who won nearly 10 races, Boadiceas Fury and Packard, while Curran’s wife Jenny was a part-owner of former star trotter Fourjay, who won derbies in both Victoria and South Australia.
“I have had some nice horses, but it’s hard getting one … and it’s getting harder to get a winner,” said Curran, who limits the number of horses he has in work to a mere handful.
“But we’ll keep persevering.”
Curran finds humour in sharing the same Christina and surname as a well-known Bendigo thoroughbred trainer and said he has in the past been mistaken for the ‘other Danny Curran’.
The two are not related and have never met or spoken.
Meanwhile, three of the region’s drivers scored wins at Kilmore on Monday.
Lockwood South’s Neil McCallum struck first when he won the opening race aboard the Gary Scoble-trained Dealers Knock, before Ellen Tormey made it back-to-back victories with the Avenel-trained pacer Roll Along Styx over the 1690m distance.
Young driver Shannon O’Sullivan completed the treble when she won aboard her father Jim’s horse Really Under Fire.
It was the nine-year-old gelding’s first win in 14 starts since his last victory at Echuca in September.
Tormey’s win at Kilmore was her sixth as part of the Team Teal campaign for ovarian cancer awareness, her tally boosted by a double at Mildura last Wednesday, which included a win with her own horse Gypsy Hustler.
O’Sullivan’s win was her second for Team Teal.
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