Catch the painted pony: colt puts Murray's Kembla crew in a spin

KEMBLA GRANGE trainer Paul Murray has had Alma's Fury put his name in the headlines by winning in recent times but Framed In History will keep it there for another, albeit rather odd, reason.

The two-year-old has been in work at Kembla for the past couple of weeks and his unusual markings grab the attention straight away.

''The first time we took him on the track everyone thought he was a [lead] pony,'' Murray said. ''We had to explain he is a racehorse.

''He always gets a second look from the other riders and is learning what it means to be racehorse. We are just getting him ready to trial and hopefully he can get attention for more than his looks.''

Framed In History was bred at the Winning Colours Farm near Bathurst and is part of a project to bring the Frame Overo breed to Australia.

The farm bought his sire Profile In Style out from the US because of his markings from the Frame Overo gene, which is accounts for the extraordinary colouring and often has them called painted.

Framed In History, which is registered as a chestnut even with the splashes of white over his body, has already served a couple of mares and will be kept entire to try to continue a Frame Overo line in Australia.

''It is the first one here, so we are lucky to have him,'' Murray said. ''We know that he is going to get a following, just look at Apache Cat. There are a couple of them over in the States and they do win races.''

Murray is hopeful of getting Framed In History to the barrier trials next month but was more concerned about making a decision whether to start the promising Alma's Fury, which is unbeaten in three runs this preparation, at Warwick Farm tomorrow. ''He is a very good horse but just doesn't handle the wet,'' Murray said from New Zealand, where he was buying yearlings at Karaka.

''They tell me it is pretty wet over there and if the track is wet, he won't be running, we won't risk him.

''I'm happy to wait a couple of weeks and freshen him up and give him a shot at the Apollo Stakes. I think he is up to that class and I wouldn't be scared to take them on.''

Alma's Fury opened his campaign by winning at Kembla and has backed it up with a couple of wins at Rosehill.

''We haven't got a target for him yet but I think he could turn out to be competitive in the big mile races,'' Murray said.

Meanwhile, the Hawkesbury meeting was called off after just two races yesterday amid farcical scenes as the ambulance, which follows the field, was bogged twice.

Runners had made their way to the barriers for the third race, only to be forced to return to the mounting yard when the ambulance was bogged on the outside of the track. A tractor pulled it out but jockeys went to stewards citing concerns over track safety. In the meantime, the ambulance became bogged again, this time on the woodchip track.

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