Have saddles, will travel. It’s a term usually reserved for nomadic jockeys, but matching any long haul is likable and veteran Canberra trainer Neil Osborne.
Now 70, the evergreen horseman and son of a Canberra policeman, has been at the forefront of breeding base Mane Lodge for 40 years.
Never afraid to frequent tracks right up and down the NSW east coast as much as in and around Canberra and south through the Riverina, Osborne tackles Tuesday’s feature Taree meeting with one of the more popular horses in his 24-strong stable.
My Girona, a talented three-year-old filly by Irish sire Myboycharlie, lines up in a Class 1 Handicap over 1257m, hunting a second career win at her 11th start.
Despite drawing wide out, she looks hard to beat after missing by a head in a marginally stronger Class 1 at Grafton 17 days ago.
In what looms as one of several competitive betting races on the program, My Girona will battle with provincial three-year-old Sterny Bear and emerging Coffs two-year-old Mr Tabasco having only his fourth start for the bulk of the market support.
The Osborne stable has been consistently in and around the money over the past month, including a dominant Benchmark 58 Handicap win at Coffs Harbour from stable favourite Ronny Rock Art only 11 days ago.
Incredibly he has raced horses at 13 tracks around NSW – as far north as Grafton and as far south as the Sapphire Coast – in just the last three months.
Of course, as versatile as ever he and wife Denise enjoyed much bigger headlines recently through the sale ring.
Mane Lodge registered an historic windfall at Riverside in Sydney when a colt by former top sprinter Extreme Choice and out of To Dubawi Go set a new Classic Sale record price, selling to Newgate Farm for $825,000.