Not every thoroughbred makes it to the track, and Showgrounds Equestrian Centre favourite Cleo did not have a name until she found her way to the Claremont facility.

Neil and Denise Osborne, who run Mane Lodge on the outskirts of Canberra, bred Cleo. Born on Saturday 3 October 2009, Cleo is the daughter of Classic Endeavour, which won two Grade Three races in the United States of America, and Mi Missus, which finished 11th of the 12 runners in her only competitive contest. Thoroughbreds in Australia do not require an official name until they are ready to trial, so it is fair to assume Cleo did not show much speed in her early training. But Cleo has found her calling at the Showgrounds Equestrian Centre, and that is where the bay mare posed for me before my latest riding lesson.

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