Mare continues to repay Lawson's faith
CL 1 HCP: When Quisical Times booted clear to hold off the field at Coffs Harbour last start it was a moment of justice for Grafton trainer Wayne Lawson.
It has been a long road to the winner's circle for the trainer, who bred the four-year-old mare out of former champion Quisatana.
But that was not how the story was meant to go for Lawson and part owner Brian Hambleton. The pair had bought Quisatana as a tried mare with the hopes of cashing in on the back end of her career.
When she stepped off the float, Lawson knew there was a problem.
"She ended up having chipped bones in her knees, it was a really tough blow for the pair of us,” he said. "She had to go into surgery immediately, but she was never the same racehorse.”
But having pumped thousands of dollars into the mare, Lawson was determined to find a silver lining. She foaled twice for Lawson before he sold her on as a brood mare, with the second effort producing Quisical Times.
"I wasn't sure if her leg problem was going to be hereditary so I said to Brian we had to take our time,” Lawson said. "She was only a tiny little thing, that's why she was a four-year-old before we raced her.
"We gave her plenty of time, and even last prep we were only going to give her a trial and put her in the paddock but she was so impressive we gave her three starts.”
Ulmarra jockey Jodi Worley piloted the mare on each of those occasions, and has put in every minute of work with her off the track as well.
While she put in several impressive efforts, it was when she returned from a 28-week spell last week that Lawson knew a win was on the horizon.
"We put her in a jump-out and she was really impressive,” he said.
"We were very confident, I knew it would take something bloody good to beat her.”
It has been a tight turnaround since that win, and Quisical Times has only hit the track once in the past week, which Lawson believes has topped her off well.
"It is hard to go from a maiden to a class 1, it's probably the toughest jump she will do, but she doesn't know that,” he said.
"She will come out of the gates fast and give it her all.”