Ben’s Victorian Visit Keeping It In The Family

As their uncle, trainer Dan O’Sullivan remembers the early differences between his star apprentice Will Price and his SA-based brother Ben, who rides interstate – at Werribee – for the first time tomorrow.

"Ben was all about getting it right, Will Price was about how fast he could go," Dan O'Sullivan recalls of the pair's school holidays often spent on his Victorian property. 

"They're my wife's nephews and it's incredible how different they were growing having fun and riding the ponies around here during their holidays. 

"Now they're following in the footsteps of their father, (champion jockey) Simon." 

A 7lbs claimer yet to earn his metropolitan ticket in South Australia, Ben – who is apprenticed to Travis Doudle – says the family connection is continuing at Werribee due to his brother's initiative. 

"I spoke to Will during the week and he said there'd be two (from the O'Sullivan stable) going there, and that I should ask to get on them," Ben said. 

"So I rang Uncle Dan and it went from there." 

Ben has performed remarkably well in his short career to date, logging 23 winners since debuting on New Year's Day, and has a full book of rides on tomorrow's eight-race card. The 18-year-old sees tomorrow's assignment as a potential stepping stone. 

"Hopefully I can get a winner or two with Dan and things kick off from there," he said. 

"I'd like to head over there more often, and eventually maybe try a three-month loan there." 

O'Sullivan said a handy tip from Will was the catalyst for agreeing to give Ben two rides. 

"Will actually rode one of mine the other day, El Santo," he explained. 

"He's not a very big horse and Will said he just spun his wheels a little bit and that it might not hurt to get a claimer. He said, 'Why don't we see whether Ben can come over?'. 

"Being a Saturday, Ben can't ride in Adelaide yet, so that's basically how this rolled along. 

"I had a couple for him and he ended up with a full book." 

O'Sullivan says the growing reputations of both nephews played a part in Ben's busy day. 

"Will is still apprenticed to still lives with us and is going very well," he said. 

"When you start to lose your claim it makes it a little bit harder, but he's in his second year of senior race riding and he's fourth in the metro premiership, and around the top 10 in the state. So that's a pretty good effort. 

"We try to keep an eye on Ben's progress too and the fact he's got a full book is evidence he's watched very closely by a lot of people over here. Both boys have got a good following. 

"I think it'll be really good for Ben to come over to Victoria and have a different experience and change the competition around a little bit for him. I'm pleased to have him over and hopefully he gets a few winners out of it." 

Ben's two rides for his uncle are El Santo in race five and Gaucho in race six. For the record, O'Sullivan considers El Santo the better winning hope. 

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