By Glenn Davis
Sporting Page may be a nine-year-old in the twilight of his career but retirement is not under consideration.
The veteran campaigner will line-up for only his 53rd start in the Tropical Auto Group Open Handicap (1050m) at Rockhampton on Friday.
Trainer Olivia Cairns and connections haven’t discussed putting Sporting Page out to pasture and are even considering another Brisbane campaign with the veteran sprinter.
Sporting Page is back at Callaghan Park after finishing a close-up fifth to Rob Heathcote’s Hopfgarten at Doomben on October 14.
“We’ve never discussed retiring him even though he’s a nine-year-old,” Cairns said.
“His last run in Brisbane was enormous in a very strong field and he’s had a freshen up since then.
“He got held up coming to the home turn just as he needed to be going forward.
“I’ll probably take him to Mackay in two weeks then head back to Brisbane with him.”
Cairns is regarded as the Queen of the North due to her great success in country cups in central and North Queensland.
She has a number of highlights in her career including a Townsville trainers’ premiership a few seasons ago.
She also won the “big three” of the north in the Cleveland Bay (twice), Townsville Cup and Parry Nissan before edging out long-time title holder Roy Chillemi for her first trainers’ title in 2010.
What is not well known is that training was the last thing on Cairns' mind before her riding career ended following an horrific fall at Cluden Park in 1998.
She spent two weeks in hospital and lost half of her liver due to the impact of the fall.
“I’m lucky to be alive really,” she said.
“It was a bad fall in 1998 and I lost half of my liver.
“I turned to training soon after with one horse and poked along for a while before I went professional in 2002.”
Racing Queensland webnews November 9