GIVEN a choice of horsepower, Courtney Laker made a selection consistent with her passion.
Approaching her 16th birthday, Laker received an offer from her grandmother, Carmen, and father, Jamie…they will buy her first car or a horse!
Without hesitation, Laker took the equine option, which resulted in a colt by A Rocknroll Dance from Someone To Love bought from the Australian Pacing Gold Sale.
“Nanna and Dad bought him at the APG Sale,” Laker said. “I was given a choice of a horse or a car and I chose a horse, which was him.
“The thought was he might win enough to buy me a car, so then I get both.
“He certainly helped me buy a car…my own Ford Ranger.”
Fast forward to this weekend and the birthday gift which keeps on giving – now known as Curly James – has the opportunity to earn enough to buy Laker more than a car!
Thanks to his impressive form, which includes a last start Shepparton Cup triumph on January 13, Curly James is engaged in Saturday night’s A G Hunter Cup in Melton.
With a purse of $500,000, the Grand Circuit event provides the winner with a $285,000 cheque.
“If he wins I would put a deposit on a house,” Laker said. “And I will definitely go buy a new horse at the APG Sale on Sunday.”
To be driven by David Moran – who won last season’s Cup with Honolua Bay – Curly James has drawn barrier four, but slots into three with the removal of the emergency.
Facing a significant rise in class, the six-year-old is among the outsiders at $31 with TAB Fixed Odds.
“I’m really excited and nervous,” Laker said. “My nerves are up and down, but will hit more ‘up’ come Saturday night.
“He’s feeling really sharp and there is nothing I can complain about with him…everything is spot on.
“I’m sure he will go out there and try his best, and whatever the outcome, it is a privilege to have a horse like him in such a race.”