Sixteen years after strapping Clangalang before his Epsom Handicap win, Amy Usher will make her Sydney metropolitan race day debut as a trainer with Lamelo.
Andrew Adkins will ride Lamelo in the Saturday’s Group Three Breeders’ Plate, Sydney’s first race of the season for two-year-old colts and geldings at Randwick’s Epsom Handicap meeting.
Usher, 39, is thrilled to have a horse she trains qualify for the city race, recalling her initial excitement in 2003.
“At the time it was a huge buzz, but now to have a runner as a trainer it’s amazing,” Usher told AAP.
“I’m feeling nervous obviously but this is a huge deal for us.”
Lamelo qualified by finishing second to Breeders’ Plate rival Global Quest in a barrier trial last Monday week.
Usher believes he will take improvement from that experience at Randwick.
“Hopefully the penny’s dropped and he’ll progress and be up to standard thereabouts,” she said.
Horses have always been in Usher’s blood. Her mother’s family owned show horses and her father’s side trained racehorses.
Moving on after a few years as an apprentice at Rosehill, Usher worked some years for trainer Gerald Ryan.
For the last nine years she has been training horses all over the country alongside husband and jockey Mark Usher who helps out by riding work and providing a unique understanding of the world they share.
“We bounce a lot of things off each other and talk through everything,” Usher said.
“We’re definitely a team. He’s kind of my rock.”
And while Usher is excited to be watching Lamelo run at Randwick, it is the thrill of any race day that keeps her coming back.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Randwick, or Casino, or Lismore, it’s just being there,” she said.
“I just love horses and I love the sport.
“This isn’t work for me.”