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Tasmanian farmer looking for Cup upset
Caryl Williamson
16:29 AEST Fri Apr 26 2013

Training horses in Tasmania is a hard slog but every now and then one comes along that makes it worthwhile.

For Walter McShane that horse is Norsqui, the winner of $660,000, most of which he has earned on the mainland through wins in the Mornington Cup and the Adelaide Cup.

Now the two are in Sydney for their hardest assignment yet, the Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on Saturday.

"We're both a bit jaded after the float trip but he always picks up," McShane said.

"If you have a good horse in Tasmania you need to go to the mainland to make any money.

"I'm a farmer at heart and started training as a sport. You have to love horses to do it because you can't make a living training horses in Tasmania.

"Every trainer I know has to have another income.

"On average we race one-and-a-half times a week."

McShane has gone from farming animals to farming crops like grain and lucerne, not that Norsqui benefits too much from that.

"He's not a big eater," McShane said.

"And he's not a big horse.

"But although he might be small you won't see a prouder horse in the parade ring before the race.

"He dances and prances around and is a real show-off. He loves it."

Norsqui also loves racing and McShane has no concerns about his first test in the right-handed direction.

"It's a jump up in class again but I know he can run 3200 metres so that's a plus. He does 50 per cent of his work in the right handed direction at home so I have no concerns about that."

The six-year-old's win in the 2012 Mornington Cup guaranteed him a Caulfield Cup berth but McShane pulled the pin believing he wouldn't be competitive.

While a Group One win would be welcome, McShane is not in racing for the prestige.

"I don't care if it's a Group One or a Group Six," he said. "As long as there's some money in it."

Norsqui was a $31 chance with the TAB on Friday with Kelinni, fourth in last year's Melbourne Cup, retaining favouritism at $3.


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