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New Lives For Old Horses -

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(generated from captions) Finding enlightenment in the desert. That report from Mike Sexton.

They say in the racing game years of bad luck that all you need to turn around is just one good horse. is finding that animal. The problem, of course, For every champion like Makybe Diva there are thousands of thoroughbreds disappointments on the race track. who turn out to be thorough mad hope and blind optimism But few sports are filled with such as horse racing. campaigners have gone back to work In Melbourne, a couple of very old life out of long retired legs. in the hope of squeezing some new Geoff Hutchison reports.

This lady came to me and this is

about 12 weeks ago. She said,

"Laurie, would you train a horse

me?"I said, "Oh, well, I'm pretty "Laurie, would you train a horse for

old now and I've got two or throw

down there. I really don't want to.

She said, "It's Blues Grandee." I down there. I really don't want to."

said, "I won with him 10 years ago.

Going nice and even there. Are you said, "I won with him 10 years ago."

happy with him? Yeah. You know

what, I said OK. So, I didn't take

any short cuts with him because I

knew that all of the flak you would

get if you mugged it. Loork, his

stride is nice. He's no problems.

assen joying his work. - he's stride is nice. He's no problems. He

enjoying his work. He's obedient. I

just wish he was about 10 years

younger. Laurie Cleary is just a

couple of months shy of his 89th

birthday and after half a century

birthday and after half a century of experience inform the racing game,

winning some and losing a lot more

this optimistic trainer remain as

firm believer in the power of

dreams. You feel for a horse. I

don't know, they seem the get the

vibes off you, too. It's all in the

hands. That's all it is. They

understand, it's like teaching a

dog, teaching a horse, teaching a

parrot, anything you like. You can

communicate with animals. (Laughs)

communicate with animals. (Laughs). Oh, yeah. Right now Laurie Cleary

Oh, yeah. Right now Laurie Cleary is trying to keep the dream alive for

owner Nancy Buhler who a few months

ago swapped her horse float for

ownership of a happily retired 13

year nag called Blues Grandee.

This horse is as sound as a bell.

His bone structure is fantastic. His bone structure is fantastic. His tendons and everything is fantastic.

To me, why wouldn't he be up there

with the younger horses? For six

years, the horse had beenlying?y

years, the horse had beenlying?y yet retirement, roaming the hills and

winking at fillies. In his first

start back, well, he finished last,

but Laurie Cleary reckons the old

horse enjoyed the attention almost

as much as he did. Kids were coming

up and putting arms around his neck

and the mums were there. Gee, I

and the mums were there. Gee, I tell you it was a good day. You liked

that as much as winning anything,

don't you? Oh, yes. And down the

years, Laurie Cleary has saddled up

some pretty good horses. None

some pretty good horses. None better than Sans Rival who in 1983 caused

than Sans Rival who in 1983 caused a huge upset to win the prestigious

Oakleigh Plate. As they came

around the turn, we straightened up

and that's when I said my little

prayer, I said, "Lord, just this

once let's beat them." I had help

upstairs and we did. But a year

later, the horse Laurie Cleary

called big, bold and beautiful died

in a fall at Moonee Valley. We came

home that night without our horse.

home that night without our horse. I dropped away from racing then.

(Bell rings) Laurie Cleary may have

been lost to racing for a while,

been lost to racing for a while, but he couldn't stay away for long and

on a brilliant spring day he's come

to Ballarat to give Blues Grandee

another run and another chance to

defi convention that says most

racehorses are past their best at

eight. Best of luck to you, too,

mate. Thanks. A very old friend.

Listen, this crowd here behind you

have come to back your horse.

But the betting ring is quiet and

bookmaker Michael Sampieri is not

sure whether to laugh or just shake

his head. There's a horse going

around in race 4 called Blues

Grandee. That's right. Much money

for him today? I wouldn't think so.

Where do you think he will start at?

100, 200 to 1. Have you seen a

100, 200 to 1. Have you seen a good 13-year-old racehorse? No, never

seen a 13-year-old racehorse before.

Not much interest out here for him?

You wonder why they bother, but

obviously they are enjoying

themselves wit. While buy bow buy

looked on nervously Leigh Coghlan

paid his only house call of the

afternoon. He's satisfied that

afternoon. He's satisfied that Blues Grandee is fit enough to run, but

not sure he'll run very fast.

I saw him race before and he get

around already. It will be

interesting how he handles the

track. Riding Blues Grandee today

another veteran on the comeback track. Riding Blues Grandee today is

trail, 46-year-old Graham Hartshorn.

The feels as though the odds are

lengthiening by the minute. RACE

CALL: Way out in front... Blues

Grandee left the stalls OK and

mained to keep up for a while but

when called upon for something in

the strait, started to think about

far I way fillies and the hills of

home. He finished fit and fresh and

stone motherless last. Yes, well,

enjoyed the race. There was no stone motherless last. Yes, well, he

pressure put on him. I don't know enjoyed the race. There was no undue

yet whether he goes in the good

going and that would be heavy out

there today. Although Nancy Buhler

is disappointed, the old hands are

more philosophical. The oldest

and oldest trainer and oldest more philosophical. The oldest horse

in the race - that's not bad. and oldest trainer and oldest jockey

It is true, of course, that the

racing game drip feeds hope to the

hungry, but it would seem that

Laurie Cleary, Nancy Buhler and

maybe even Blues Grandee haven't

even quit lost their appetite for

yet. What we might do is give him even quit lost their appetite for it

one more run. One more run, Nance?

Alright. But not a grey hair on

horse. Alright. But not a grey hair on the