By Jordan Gerrans
It has been a few years in the making but Eidsvold horseman Bob Murray feels Walshie is finally ready to be a serious contender in the Battle of the Bush series.
The only trainer based in the North Burnett region of the Sunshine state, the 59-year-old purchased the gelding a number of years ago with an eye to targeting him towards the popular regional series.
In previous campaigns and attempts, the former David Pfieffer and Matthew Smith-trained galloper did not step up to the price tag the Murray barn paid for him.
After recording two victories and three other minor placings in 2022, the veteran trainer believes he is finally ready to score in a BOTB qualifier.
It will just now be a matter of the stable finding a suitable qualifier after their last two attempts were washed out.
Walshie was in at Burrandowan last Saturday before it was called off following heavy rain and the same has occurred this week at Bundaberg.
With plenty of BOTB options coming up over the next few weeks ahead of the Final, Murray will have an array of locations to qualify his improved gelding at.
“That did not work out at the time, he did not go as well as what I had hoped,” Murray said of Walshie’s BOTB attempts in years gone by.
“We paid a little bit of money for him, thinking he would be a Battle of the Bush horse, but he did get in a couple of years ago when we were chasing it then.
“I think he has improved since then; he has had a few issues he has got over but now he is pretty consistent and is racing really well.”
Walshie is a recent winner on the sand at Bundaberg and the Eidsvold-based trainer says his gelding would have been more than competitive if the races were to have proceeded.
“He is starting to like the sand, when we first started putting him on it he was hopeless,” Murray said.
“He won really well last time at Bundaberg.
“He has had some bad luck with wide barriers and what not but he is ultra-consistent horse.”
Better Idea for the Murray stable contested the Final of the 2018 BOTB Final, which was won by Mason's Chance.