A ‘Andy tale about a trainer and his horse eyeing Country Champs

Grafton trainer Andrew Parramore with his aptly-named galloper, Andy.

Andy will be cheering Andy if the latter gets to Coffs Harbour’s opening heat of the Newhaven Park Country Championships next month!

Sounds gobbledegook doesn’t it, so let us explain.

The former Andy is Grafton based Andrew Parramore, and he trains Andy, the horse named after him.

A relatively inexperienced three-year-old, Andy has won three of his only five starts to date; the last three in succession.

After a debut second at Grafton on September 28 and fourth at Ballina five days later, Andy strung together a hat-trick, showing his versatility by winning on good, soft and heavy ground at Lismore (twice) and Ballina.

His sire Whittington was a debut winner of the 2012 Breeders’ Plate at Royal Randwick and another three races including the 2015 Listed Lightning Handicap (1050m) at Doomben, and his dam Kitty Cotswold was a three-times Victorian country winner (including a Showcase race at Ballarat).

The gelding’s part-owner Paul Richardson, who also holds a trainer’s licence, cleared up the story behind the naming of the young horse.

“I bought Andy privately for a song after he was passed in (at $5000) at the 2020 Magic Millions March yearling sale at the Gold Coast,” Richardson said.

“We had him broken in at the Gold Coast, and gave him to Andy Parramore to train.

“I actually wanted Andy to buy him, but he was keen on another horse, so I bought the horse myself and named him after him.

“He was a late foal (December 5, 2018) and that’s probably why purchasers shied away from him.

“I don’t mind farming horses out to other trainers provided they can sit on them (Andrew Paramore is virtually a one-man band who rides his horses work, with help from jockey Jodi Worley whenever possible).

“We don’t have a wrap on Andy (the horse that is) yet, but he is progressing with every run.

“If he doesn’t measure up to the Country Championships, he will have a good break as he is still a baby.”

Former jockey Parramore, an expatriate Englishman who calls Grafton home, is hoping to have two representatives in the $150,000 Northern Rivers Racing Association heat of the 2022 Country series, to be run over 1400m at Coffs Harbour on Saturday, February 12.

He currently has only six horses in work, and it would be a fantastic achievement if he can get both  Andy and Canexcell into the race.

“I have never previously nominated a horse for the Country Championships, so it’s hard to say if my pair will be up to the class,” Parramore said.

“But both deserve their chance, and I’ll be doing my best to get them starts in the Coffs Harbour heat.

“Andy is back in work and will probably have only one lead-up. He has kept improving and arguably should have won his first two starts.

 “I’m hoping he can get into the field at Coffs Harbour.

“Canexcell also shows ability and has won four of his 13 starts, including his last two at Ballina and Taree (on November 1 and 21) since resuming from a break.

“He was also placed in Brisbane nearly 12 months ago, and the Taree win in stronger company convinced me that he is worth aiming toward the Country Championships.”

Parramore understandably has a soft spot for the horse named after him, but also for Canexcell.

The latter gelding’s dam Sandy Selection provided him with his first success as a trainer.

He was the third trainer of Sandy Selection, who was his debut runner at Canterbury on January 29, 2009.

Two starts and three weeks later, the mare beat six rivals, with Patrick Ferris aboard, against her own sex in a Rating 71 Handicap (1400m) on heavy ground at Kembla Grange.