Day At The Track

Can son Connor shine?

11:23 AM 27 Aug 2020 NZST
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Connor Ronan,Harness racing

They didn’t choose the name but Jolted Journey is a pretty apt description for the path tread not only by the six-year-old maiden who’ll step out at Echuca tonight, but also by the stable he now calls home.

Yet to finish better than fifth in his seven starts, Jolted Journey has joined father-and-son Wayne and Connor Ronan (pictured), with the bargain basement buy first-up tonight in the Jodale Cleaning Echuca Pace, which streams on Trots Vision at 6.59pm.

The Ronans are also in the midst of something of an unusual journey of their own, with trainer Wayne having for almost two months temporarily relocated to Queensland, where two-thirds of his horse chiropractor work is performed.

The covid-19 pandemic has meant a return home hasn’t been possible, and therefore the keys have been thrown to Connor to transform their latest pacing project into a racehorse.

“I’ve always had Dad around helping me, so it’s a bit weird having him away and trying to improve one by yourself,” Connor said.

While the situation's far from ideal, Wayne said the Village Jolt gelding had been “bought virtually as a project for Connor”, and thus he has proven.

Previously with Noela Krafft, he was snapped up “a month and a half ago” by the Ronans, who Connor said “only paid $500 after his career come to an end for his old trainer”.

“We decided to have a crack and see how we go,” he said, though he’ll need to earn more than his original price tag to break even.

“Since we got him he has chewed through rugs and tested our patience, but I have had him working with another horse and changing things around and he is going all right.

“I trialled him on Sunday and he went 2:01, which is good going for a horse like him, so we thought we’d put him into a restricted race at Echuca and he got a good draw.

“It’s hard to measure him up, his trials have only been fair, but we will see how he goes. If he could run top three we’d be rapt. He will definitely improve off the run.”

Jolted Journey will be one of two debutants for the family tonight, with Yes Maate to make his first appearance in the Steve Oliver Plumbing Pace.

The home-bred five-year-old’s been given plenty of time to find his feet. He’s by 2005 Echuca Cup winning stallion Daroobalgie out of mare Clean The Scene, who’s a half-sister to Trebla Trebla, dam of the Ronans’ shining lights Ideal Lifestyle ($256,608) and Bettor Downunder ($134,067).

Yes Maate’s the first of Clean The Scene’s foals to see the race track and that’s been after plenty of patience.

“He had a few issues earlier and we gave him a couple of preps and time off,” Wayne said.

“He’s been a slow maturing horse and will probably need the experience tomorrow night, but the way he improved in his last trial I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts in a good showing.”

The debut run will be in trainer Brittany O’Brien’s care, which was not the initial intention but a further result of Wayne being temporaily Queensland based.

“Brittany was given the horse to pre-train him and when this happened and with Connor working full-time I said to her to keep going,” he said. “They’re doing a good job with him. If he runs top three I’d be over the moon.”


HRV - Michael Howard

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