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18 Sep

Trainer Owen Poulsen back in the winners’ circle in return from family tragedy

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Mount Thorley trainerOwen Poulsen lost interest in harness racing and “life in general” after the death of his 10-year-old son, Matthew, to heart failure a decade ago.

A little horse, though, bought for just $1000, is helping the 59-year-old enjoy racing again.

Poulsen had his first winner in 23 years when Advanced Warfare saluted with Jack Callaghan aboard at $20.30 at Newcastle Paceway on September 15 and the six-year-old gelding will chase anotheron Saturday night in race one.

He said the breakthrough win was “areal buzz” and he was glad to be back in harness racing. He returned to the sport three years ago after taking a break to help care for Matthew, who battled hypertension on the right side of the heart beforea fatalinfection. Matthew died at home in 2008.

“I sort of lost interest in life in general and it got a bit troublesome for me,” Poulsen said.“I just had to concentrate on getting myself right. It was a really tough time in my life and for my family.”

Poulsen secured Advanced Warfare with help from premiership-winning Cessnocktrainer Clayton Harmey.

“Ipicked him up for $1000 through Clayton Harmey –I’ve brokenin horses for him,” he said. “I just said if you see a little horse for me, let me know, just something I can go to the races with. He said there’s a couple of wins in him if you place him right.

“It’s quite enjoyable meeting new people and old friends. A lot ofpeople have helped me get back in into it, because the game has changed dramatically.”

Advanced Warfare drew seven for the opener on Saturday night and Poulsen was not banking on another win just yet.

“It might be a bit tough,” he said.

“He’s got to get everything right.”

Meanwhile, Morisset trainer-driver Mark Callaghan will spearhead Hunter hopes at Menangle Park on Saturday night when Downunder Stride contests the group 3 Les Chant Cup.

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