iskander

Currie chasing autumn with Rothera


ben_currie
Teenage trainer Ben Currie is now eyeing next year’s Sydney autumn carnival with talented sprinter Rothera after his failure to make history in the Group One Emirates Stakes at Flemington.

Rothera suffered badly from early interference in last Saturday’s 1600-metre feature and was all but pulled out of the race won by Kiwi sensation Wall Street.

Currie is en route back to his Toowoomba base with Rothera who suffered two nasty gashes as a result of the interference.

“He came back to the enclosure with blood coming from his back legs,” Currie said.

“He got one cut under his knee on the near side and another near the joint on the other back leg.

“One of the cuts was a nasty gash but we haven’t had to stitch them.

“The vets on course treated them and wrapped his legs in bandages.”

Currie took a bold gamble to defer university exams to take the son of Tobougg to Melbourne for the spring following a first-up win at Doomben in September.

The 19-year-old is nearing the end of his second year of a journalism degree at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba and received special permission to defer exams until the end of the summer.

Currie’s gamble to take on some of the biggest names in Australian racing paid off when the five-year-old won the Group Three Betfair Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month.

Rothera was the first interstate runner for Currie who would have become the youngest trainer to win a Group One race if the gelding had been successful in the Emirates.

Currie has only had his trainers’ licence for 12 months after deciding to help his father Mark Currie, a leading Toowoomba trainer, when he was suspended.

He has taken confidence from his experience travelling away but admits he still doesn’t know how good Rothera is.

“I’ve got the confidence now he can measure up in some of the better-class races,” Currie said.

“But I’m still in the dark as to how good he is.

“I’ll be definitely taking him to another carnival somewhere.

“I was hoping the other day would show us just how good he is and we’ll probably target the Sydney autumn carnival next year with him.”

Currie said he was pleased his close friend, apprentice Brent Evans, eased up on Rothera once he knew something was amiss after the early scrimmage in the Emirates Stakes.

“It was probably good Brent didn’t knock him about,” Currie said.

“Brent gave him a squeeze after the early trouble and knew he wasn’t quite right.”