Ir­ish-Tassie hoop off to WA

Mercury (Hobart) - - RACING - PETER STA­PLES

TAL­ENTED Ir­ish-born ap­pren­tice Chris Gra­ham has left the state to fur­ther his rid­ing ca­reer in Western Aus­tralia.

Gra­ham ar­rived at Adam Trinder’s sta­ble from Vic­to­ria about 3½ years ago and in that time es­tab­lished him­self as a tal­ented hoop.

He capped his time in this state by win­ning the ap­pren­tice’s premier­ship in his sec­ond full sea­son and was run­ner-up last sea­son.

He guided last sea­son’s twoyear-old of the year Mys­ti­cal Pur­suit to four con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries that in­cluded the state’s top two listed events for ju­ve­niles.

Gra­ham rode at his last Tas­ma­nian meet­ing in Launce­s­ton last Wed­nes­day night and while win­less, he de­liv­ered a cou­ple of stel­lar rides just to re­mind train­ers how much he will be missed.

He will team up with WA brothers Ben and Dan Pearce who op­er­ate a suc­cess­ful train­ing oper­a­tion at Kar­nup, about a 30-minute drive from Perth.

“This move has been in the pipe­line for about six months and it came about when I went there [ WA] to rep­re­sent Tas­ma­nia in the ap­pren­tices se­ries,” Gra­ham said.

“The Pearce brothers have a very suc­cess­ful busi­ness so I am con­fi­dent the move will work out for the best.”

Like most ap­pren­tices who loose their claim be­fore the expiration of their ap­pren­tice­ship, Gra­ham has been lured away to where he can still use a claim.

“I’ll be back to claim­ing 3kg in the city and 1.5kg in the provin­cials, so that will ob­vi­ously open up some op­por­tu­ni­ties and, in time, get me aboard the bet­ter horses.

“I had good suc­cess when I rode over there ear­lier this year so I don’t see any rea­son why it won’t hap­pen for me as a per­ma­nent rider.”

As Gra­ham de­parts, Tas­ma­nia is about to gain three new ap­pren­tices.

Sin­ga­porean Ian­ish Lux­i­mon has ar­rived at Trinder’s sta­ble to re­place Gra­ham on a two-year rid­ing visa and UK rider Jack Inkpen, who had been await­ing what seemed an eter­nity his visa ap­proval, will soon be rid­ing in tri­als to gain his li­cence to race ride and he will be ap­pren­ticed to Scott Brun­ton.

Wes­ley Vale trainer Glenn Stevenson is about to take on Cody Jor­dan as his sta­ble ap­pren­tice and she is presently rid­ing in jump-outs.

CLASSY Tas­ma­nian gal­loper Mis­ter Song­man, which has been in the care of Gai Water­house and Adrian Bott for the past 12 months, re­mains in the spell­ing pad­dock but is ex­pected to re­turn to work later this month.

Mis­ter Song­man’s Tas­ma­nian part-owner John Burke said the geld­ing was forced out of his last prepa­ra­tion be­cause of a leg in­jury.

“Gai had the horse ready to go last prep but he suf­fered a slightly strained check lig­a­ment in­jury,” Burke said.

“It was noth­ing se­ri­ous but enough to force him out.

“He is due to come back into work within the next cou­ple of weeks if he is fully re­cov­ered.

“There are no firm plans as far as races are con­cerned but it will take at least 10 weeks to get him fit enough to con­sider a trial or race once he’s back in work.”

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