MALEY & PUSH TO PASS: A SPECIAL BOND

10
Nov

Push To Pass: A resilient, competitive horse, no frills or fanfare, just honest and consistent who always puts in.

Those same attributes could also easily apply to the gelding’s trainer Ashley Maley.

What you see is what you get from the self-taught horseman, a knockabout type, who goes about his job in a quiet and efficient manner.

A popular member of the WA racing industry, Maley prefers the low-key approach over the attention or glare of racing’s spotlight.

His stable is not littered with stars, but he regularly churns out winners, particularly in the provincials and he’s not adverse to producing winners at good odds.

Now 10-years of age, Push To Pass and Maley have been regular companions from almost the very beginning. Their journey has taken them up and down the state in search of success.

Maley shares genuine affection for Push To Pass, reflecting how horses don’t always have to be great champions or snare racing’s rich prize pickings to generate great fondness.

That connection between Maley and Push To Pass was strengthened again last Sunday after they combined to take out the York Cup (1920m).

Adding to previous wins in the Albany Cup and Esperance Cup, Push To Pass burst through half a million dollars in stake earnings.

Maley says he can’t hide his admiration for Push To Pass.

“I bought him sight unseen as a weanling three days after he was born,” Maley told The Races WA.

“He was pretty small and nothing much to look at, fluffy, but a half brother to Benny’s Halo, who ran second in the Perth Stakes and Karrakatta Plate.

“He arrived at a good time and means a lot to me because at that time of my life I didn’t have a lot of money.

“He was about the third horse I had, but has paid me back by now.

“We have been together a long time and he just rolls up and tries his best all the time.

“He always gives 100 per cent whenever he goes around.

“He’s run some very good races, even in Perth.

“I would have to say he is one of my favourite horses.

“He certainly pulls at the heart strings.”

As a 90-start veteran with 15 wins and 16 placings, Maley knows the end is closer than the beginning for Push To Pass.

He takes every win and race as a bonus, an understandable sentiment after Push To Pass suffered a tendon injury 18 months ago.

“I thought we would have had to retire him,” Maley said.

“But after a few months in the paddock we took him to the vets to have him scanned and they said he was not sore at all.

“I was struggling about bringing him back because I would never forgive myself if anything went wrong.

“But he wanted to be a racehorse and is a determined bugger.

“I’m not sure how long he can go for, but I will let him tell me.”

Julio Santarelli