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Ringo chasing first city winner for Stephens

By Glenn Davis

Hobby trainer Wayne Stephens is hoping Ringo’s A Rockstar can provide him with his first metropolitan winner at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.

Stephens has a small team in work at Deagon on Brisbane’s northern outskirts and has trained three winners since he took out a trainers’ licence two years ago.

Stephens took over training Ringo’s A Rockstar from his father Norm “Whopper” Stephens who died in March last year.

Stephens snr was an institution at the Deagon training facility, enjoying a 40-year career in the saddle before turning his hand to training in the 1980s.

He conquered Queensland’s greatest race as a 16-year-old apprentice when he won the 1948 Stradbroke Handicap aboard Ballyvista.

Ringo’s A Rockstar hasn’t won since beating Tarzan over 1000 metres on a heavy track at the Sunshine Coast in June, 2018.

The six-year-old’s career suffered a setback when he injured a suspensory ligament after finishing seventh in the Listed Falvelon Quality won by Fiery Heights in December 2018.

“It wasn’t a serious injury but we gave him plenty of time off to recover,” Stephens said.

The son of Drumbeats has had three starts since the injury enforced layoff and has been beaten less than two lengths on each occasion.

At his most recent appearance, Ringo’s A Rockstar finished fifth to the Team Edmonds-trained Usmanov in a 900-metre Open dash at the Gold Coast on March 14.

That run followed a similar fifth behind the Les Kelly-trained Boom Chicka Boom over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm last month.

Stephens, who works as a State Government consultant, believes the big Eagle Farm track will suit Ringo’s A Rockstar.

“His form has been very good and he hasn’t had much luck lately,” Stephens said.

“There was no pace on which is unheard of over 1000 metres at Eagle Farm and it was a bog track at the Gold Coast when he was beaten 1.5 lengths.

“There’s no issues with his leg any more and he’s down in class to the midweeks although he’s up in weight.”

Stephens has resisted the temptation to claim on Ringo’s A Rockstar who will be ridden by Jim Orman.

Racing Queensland webnews  March 24