LUKE Battle is hoping a rare debut for one of his horses will be a winning moment at this Wednesday night's closing race at Bathurst Paceway.
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The Lyndhurst hobby trainer has four-year-old Chasin Better Days making his first career start in the Lion Nathan Pace (1,730 metres), with the Village Jolt gelding having the benefit of the inside draw.
Maturity issues and a need to physically fill out have delayed this start for Battle's runner.
"Peter and Karen [Reid] were the breeders, but we actually bred the mare and got the mare off them. We then bred him and he's the first of our young ones that we've got to the track," Battle said.
"It took us three years to get him going. He's a bit immature. He's a big horse who's taken a long time to grow into himself. He's four now and has nearly had two years spelling in paddock, just waiting for him to grow.
"His brother was a nice horse and his mother won 16 races as well so it was worthwhile waiting for him so we're hoping he can put a few together.
"We may end up tipping him out again after three or four starts because I don't think we've got the best out of him yet."
Chasin Better Days' older brother Whiskey Blaze enjoyed a successful career in Queensland, winning over $100,000 in prizemoney, while his mother Gunna Getsha enjoyed a solid, lengthy career in the Central West across the mid-2000s.
Battle is happy to continue working around two to three horses at any moment, given he has full-time work on his plate.
"We have two yearlings at the moment and a two-year-old that's spelling. My partner Teagan and I tend to concentrate on the younger ones. We tend to breed our own and hope for a bit of luck with the young ones," he said.
"I'm not a good enough trainer to take a horse off someone else and improve them so I've got to start from scratch and hope something runs.
"I have mares out at Brooklyn Lodge with Ben and Mel Settree. Me and Mel do a lot of the insemination there, and Ben has taught me a lot about the industry and the breaking in and training side of things."
There will hopefully be more horses turning up at the race track for Battle over the coming years as he continues to balance his training and breeding work.
"This one's got a little sister that's due to come back in after six months off," he said.
"We were putting her in the float to take her into town and she got strung up on a gate and got stuck on her back legs for about half an hour. I honestly thought she'd die but we got her down.
"I kept working her for a couple of weeks but she just wasn't the same so I thought I'd give her a break and let everything heal up."
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