By Geoff Newling
Ethan Ensby could celebrate his 23rd birthday with more than just a late birthday present at Lismore on Saturday. The Ballina trainer, who hails from Casino, has just the one runner, Chelsea Diamond, in at Lismore as he also cranks up a Country Racing Syndications business.
Chelsea Diamond is a four-year-old daughter of Snippetson and is having her 15th start in the $10,000 Xerox Business Centre Northern Rivers Fillies & Mares Benchmark 59 Handicap (1400m). She has drawn barrier six with Craig Franklin to ride.
“Hopefully she will be a birthday present,” Ethan laughed after turning 23 on Wednesday and celebrating with a quiet dinner with his parents, who drove over from Casino, Wednesday night. “Didn’t have time to celebrate, too busy.”
So far Chelsea Diamond has just the one win but he’s hopeful she might add to that Saturday although she won’t start if it's any worse than a Soft 7.
“We had a bit of rain today,” Ethan said Thursday night. “I did have a few others nominated but they needed another gallop or two. They’ll go to Beef Week (at Casino). She (Chelsea Diamond) is a half a chance of winning. You can write her last start off.”
For Ethan, the Country Racing Syndication is an exciting development in partnership with his “main owner” Craig Gibbs. Ethan said their Country Racing syndications has been all approved by the relevant authorities and they bought their first yearling at Scone last week.
They actually had a few other yearlings they had bought in anticipation of starting 12 months ago and they are now in the process of being broken in and/or going into training. Ethan believes having a syndicators licence “gives me the upper hand” compared with other local trainers.
“It’s very exciting that it’s finally happening. We’re not limited either, not just limited to country horses. We’ll be trying our hardest to get them to metro races. Our aim is we want owners from all walks to have the best chance possible to get into a good horse. We want to be able to get people into racing.
“The amount of people they have told us this is a great initiative is amazing. The good thing is that we can race horses cheaply and get them to good races like the Highway Handicaps, Showcase Country TABs and the Country Championships.
“There are also the BOB bonuses, this season alone I’ve earned $30,000 alone in BOBS from two of my horses.”
Ethan has 10 in work at the moment with “55 on my books” and hopes to add to recent wins with the likes of Latino Lover at Lismore where local trainers such as Daniel Bowen, Owen Glue and Gary Nielsen all have runners.
Fellow Ballina trainers Stephen Lee, Robert Pilling, Terry McCarthy and Peter Youngberry also have runners, Lee hoping to add to more victories after training a $165 winner, Anton En Evant, at Doomben last Saturday.