Jockey Noriyuki Masuda has four rides for Ballina trainer Ethan Ensby at Grafton tomorrow. Photo Nev Madsen
Jockey Noriyuki Masuda has four rides for Ballina trainer Ethan Ensby at Grafton tomorrow. Photo Nev Madsen

Ballina horse's miracle recovery after 'mystery' illness

NORTHERN Rivers trainers will be well represented at the Clarence River Jockey Club TAB meeting tomorrow.

Ballina's Ethan Ensby has six runners, with jockey Noriyuki Masuda riding four of them including Lady Grande who is aiming for a second straight win at Grafton.

The five-year-old mare won a $22,000 Class 1 maiden (2200m) a fortnight ago.

Lady Grande has done well after a health scare during the Summer Cup race day at Ballina on January 17.

"She pulled up very weak and lethargic after that first-up run," Ensby said.

"We took her home and had a couple of blood counts taken and had the vet look at her.

"It looked a bit touch-and-go with her that first night and we wondered whether she'd still be with us the next morning.

"But she bounced back a little the next day and within a week was back to 100 per cent.

"It was a complete mystery what was actually wrong with her.

"She's in great form (now), loves Grafton, races well on any surface and goes well for Nori (Masuda)."

Ballina trainers Stephen Lee and Terry McCarthy also have runners at Grafton while Lismore's Daniel Bowen and Owen Glue will also make the trip.

Leading trainer Matt Dunn is represented in eight of the nine races.

Dunn currently heads the Northern Rivers Racing Association trainers' premiership with 31 wins.

Father-and-son combination Toby and Trent Edmonds (18) are second with Kris Lees third with 15 wins.

Grafton's Dwayne Schmidt and Ensby are equal fourth with 13 wins followed by John Shelton and Bowen on nine.