TRAINER John Rooney may be battling some serious health issues.
But he certainly hasn't lost his sense of humour.
"Recently I've had three hip operations, a prostate cancer operation and I've got arthritis," Rooney said.
"It feels like the only thing that I haven't had lately, is a baby."
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Due to his health problems, Rooney sold his Dederang property and relocated to Wodonga just over 12 months ago.
He bought some of former trainer Brian Cox's stables.
The veteran trainer has 18 boxes.
Rooney trains two horses, Murrawee and Macca's Hero.
Murrawee won at Wodonga two starts back and ran fourth at Albury as his most recent start last month.
Rooney said he was hoping Murrawee would once again give them something to catch in the $22,000 0-58 Hcp, 1100m.
Apprentice jockey Patrick Scorse is booked to ride.
"Barrier 9 is my biggest concern," Rooney said.
"I feel he races best when he can find the lead.
"I will be telling the jockey to find the front and then they can try and catch us if they can."
Rooney said he wouldn't be able to continue to train without the help of daughter Louisa Dove and Wodonga trainer Steve Aldridge.
"I was swimming one of my horses not long back and I ended up in the bloody pool as well and nearly got drowned," he said.
"It was then I realised I'm not getting any younger and that I needed some help.
"So Steve is the backbone of the operation and rides my track work as well."
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