Backing Uncle Dan to go the distance

RUSSELL Osborne says the best of Uncle Danny won’t be seen until he gets to a mile but that didn’t stop the four-year-old breaking his maiden over 1200 metres at Towong on Saturday.

The Danbird gelding proved too good for another Benalla galloper Bullrush ($3.40) in the opening race on the Squizzy Taylor race day.

Osborne, who trains a stable of seven at his stud and agistment property opposite the Benalla racetrack, said it was important to target the country meetings at this time of year.

“There are plenty of races and it’s a little like Cup week in that you need to have your team ready to fire,” he said.

“We are just a home-bred stable and so we go to races like Towong to avoid some of the better horses going around.

“This bloke has been going all right on the track and we thought he would run well first up.

“We probably kept him going a little longer than we should have last preparation but we will just look at what is around in the next few weeks.”

The win was some consolation for Osborne, whose two runners ran second at his home track on Friday only for one to be later relegated to third on a protest.

“That was my first time in a protest and the whole process of arguing your case is something I probably struggled with,” he said.

But Osborne praised reigning Southern Districts champion jockey Nick Souquet.

“We don’t get a chance to use him that much when we come up that way because the bigger stables are always chasing him. But in his last three rides for us we have had two winners and a second,” he said.

Uncle Danny was the first of a double for Souquet who shared the riding honours with apprentices Brooke Sweeney and Amanda Masters.

Albury-based Masters fresh from a double at Wodonga on Boxing Day rode the Peter Maher-trained Evasive Action ($5) to victory in the Squatters Purse and won the last of the day on Settler’s Road ($4.40).

Sweeney, who also rode a winner on Boxing Day, won on her boss’s horses — the John Ledger-trained Gypsy Lover and The Bounty Queen in the main race.

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