SOUTH Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires were represented among the ranks of horse trainers at Stony Creek Racing Club’s Stony Pony Fun Day on Tuesday, January 4.

The Sentinel-Times caught up with Bass-based jumps trainer Eric Musgrove who gave six of his horses a run on the flat, along with Foster’s Ken Fythe.

A Gippsland trainer from further afield, Sharyn Trolove of Bundalaguah, near Sale, had a busy day at the track with seven runners, including a winner and a couple of second placegetters, and also made time for a chat.

Foster’s Ken was represented by just one horse on the day, Be Miss Luchy, with the seven-year-old mare running fourth in race five, The Pink Roses Handicap over 1000m.

Be Miss Luchy is one of four horses he trains and Ken was pleased with her effort on the day.

“They just went a bit quick for her today; she ran a great race without being good enough,” Ken said.

“She’s probably a better 1400m horse.”

He’s yet to decide what event will be next on Be Miss Luchy’s racing calendar.

Ken has trained the horse for a couple of years and the pair have formed a strong bond.

“This horse would be one of the nicest I’ve had anything to do with; she’s good-natured, always tries and she’s a pleasure to be around,” he said.

While success is undoubtedly important, Ken said he trains horses because he enjoys it.

Be Miss Luchy was also fourth in the previous Stony Creek meeting, after slipping, but impressed her trainer with her recovery from that event.

Ken is pleased with what he sees taking place at the Stony Creek track.

“Adam, the CEO, he’s done a marvellous job and I noticed a lot of improvements around the place,” he said.

A couple of those he noted were an upgraded carpark and the installation of rubber matting in the horse stalls.

Of the six runners Eric of Bass had on the day, four ran in the final race.

While his best results were a couple of fourth-place getters, preparation was the trainer’s main focus.

“The horses are getting ready for the jumping season and they’re having their first run over short distances, which is probably unsuitable for them,” Eric said.

However, he considered Real Thinker an each-way chance in race seven.

The seven-year-old gelding almost lived up to that billing, knocked out of the places by Ima Dozer.

Buffalo Bill was the other Musgrove-trained horse to come fourth, running in the eighth and final race.

Bundalaguah’s Sharyn was pleased with the day’s results, with just one disappointment.

That was Sockastar in race three.

“I thought she was quite a good chance, but she might have just had enough, or the track might have been a bit hard for her,” Sharyn said of the surface, by then rated a good 3.

Make An Effort took the honours in the Pink Roses Handicap, race five, proving too good over the 1000m, with young jockey Tayla Childs aboard.

Sharyn said the jockey had established an excellent rapport with the horse and would continue to ride the five-year-old mare.

The trainer can also claim a big part in the horse’s success.

“She’s been running well; I bred her and I’ve raced her the whole time,” Sharyn said on the day.

“It all pretty much panned out perfectly,” she said of Tuesday’s winning run.

That contrasted with Make An Effort’s appearance at Stony Creek late last month where she was caught three-wide, finishing last in what proved to be the day’s final race.

Although there were problems with the track that day, prompting the abandonment of the last four races, Sharyn was confident in her return to the venue, with seven horses in tow.

“It’s normally a nice track and had the right races for the horses I’ve got in at the moment,” she said of her significant involvement in Tuesday’s meeting.