THERE"S a great rags-to-riches story unfolding out of Strathdale, where a forgotten horse by the name of Oh Oh Noo is surprising many by his racetrack feats after being snapped up at sales for just $325.
Ebony Harris bought the son of Badlands Hanover, who had been used as a trail riding horse following a tendon injury that halted his career in 2016, and was quickly convinced to take him back to the track by her partner Scott Rains.
The trainer-driver said while Harris was keen to reignite Oh Oh Noo's career, his previous owners weren't so happy with the comeback plans.
But after much discussion and a $2000 sweetener, Rains secured the papers needed to get Oh Oh Noo back behind the mobile.
"I looked him up and it turns out he was not too badly performed," Rains said.
"My Uncle and Aunty (Phillip and Kathryn) wanted to get involved in a horse and they actually paid the $2000 to get that deal over the line."
First-up since a third placing at Menangle in November of 2016, Rains won with the horse at Shepparton in April. Following five subsequent runs, the eight-year-old was then able to produce a career best effort when winning again at Bendigo last week.
Oh Oh Noo recorded a mile rate of 1:53.5 while taking out the DNR Logistics Pace (1650m), bettering his previous quickest run of 1:54.1 when successful at Menangle in August 2016.
"It was nearly three years that he had off, so it was a real big thrill to get him over the line first-up," Rains said.
Rains was quick to pay tribute to Harris, who spends hours and hours massaging the horse and attending to any aches and pains.
"He's an older horse - he's rising nine - so it's just all the little things, all the little one-percenters she does with him. She does a big job with him," Rains said.
Oh Oh Noo, a gelding out of New Zealand mare Sachem Franco, has now won five of 31 career starts.
Immediate plans are to race him in the Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo Concession Drivers Pace (1690m) today at Maryborough, where Tayla French has been booked to take the drive from barrier seven.
"He's on the up, which I guess is strange for an eight-year-old," Rains said. "His last start probably (shows) that he's going better and better. He's very lightly raced for his age and at the moment he is 100 per cent sound."
Rains has long been involved in harness racing and moved down to Victoria from Queensland in 2013.
Since taking out his own licence, the 35-year-old has prepared 71 starters for six wins.
Oh Oh Noo has delivered a third of those, with last week's victory at Bendigo netting the biggest prize money return of his career.
"I think that he can definitely go on with the job now, all things being equal," Rains said.
Originally published on the Harness Racing Victoria website.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.