It would have been easy to miss the return of Essington to the race track last weekend with his name nowhere to be seen on the Eagle Farm meeting.
He wasn’t at Rosehill either nor was he down south at Flemington, in fact he was a long way away from there up in warmth of Rockhampton.
Essington won the Rockhampton Newmarket, his first race after three months on the sidelines.
It wasn’t a return that went entirely unnoticed though, top jockey Chris Munce was interested enough to get himself up the coast to take the ride.
It’s likely he’ll follow Munce again as well, this time south to Grafton for the $130,000 WHK Ramornie on July 13th.
There’s no reason he shouldn’t, together they’ve won four races form their five starts and are creating quite a formidable record in the sprinting ranks.
Munce has never won a Ramornie itself but on two separate occasions he’s won the Grafton Cup, 1999 with Count Scenario and 2005 with Stormhill.
While Rockhampton grade is a long way off what he’ll run into over the next few months, he did show he could at least handle a load after lugging around 59kg.
Not only did he win with that weight he set a new course record time in the process.
Trainer Daryl Hansen has made his thoughts very clear with the horse and you can bet there won’t be one wasted opportunity along the way.
“He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained,” Hansen said.
Essington is one of the more interesting stories in horse racing, the four-year-old starting off his career in very different circumstances.
He was bought for $150,000 as a yearling and sent to Robert Hickmott in Victoria.
He didn’t perform at all to begin with though and after his first four starts returned a single placing owners Lloyd and Nick Williams had seen enough and put him back up for auction early last year.
He was found by new owner Marino Katsenevas for the greatly reduced price of $50,000.
That’s where Hansen began his involvement, the former Rockhampton based trainer now working his horses from the Sunshine Coast.
He’s already proved to be a smart investment having won nine of his 13 starts.
Four of those have been in Brisbane metropolitan level and his prize money returns have now topped a quarter of a million dollars.