Apr 19, 2017
Okay Pete, we’re starting off with the hard hitting questions – if you had to choose three Australian champions from the past to train, who would they be? Geez, that’s a tough question…How about Pharlap? I grew up idolising Kingstown Town and Gunsynd – the Goondiwindi grey! So they have to go in, and I’ve talked before about having a soft spot for Octagonal, so he’s in the stable too.
That's four, not three by the way... There was a spare box.
Ideal holiday destination? Outback Australia or along the coast. Lyn and I took a trip to Ayers Rock, Darwin and the Kimberley’s - I absolutely loved that. Being in nature is what it’s all about for me. Australia matches it with anywhere in the world.
Where does Australian racing sit on the world map? I’ve been to England, and Dubai which were great experiences for different reasons but our racing is second to none, probably the best in the world, especially when you consider prizemoney levels and the spring racing carnival event.
How do you deal with stress in the workplace? Stress is only what you put on yourself so I don’t get stressed too much but I do get disappointed. Sometimes the motor just isn’t there in a horse or bad luck happens which is frustrating. If a horse goes sore when you know they are in for a top run, like Capitalist and Pride of Dubai both did, it’s disappointing. But it’s not life or death – its horseracing. Another thing I find important is to have someone you trust working with you so you can take a break or holiday to recharge the batteries. Everyone needs it.
As much as racing is your life, you need to put it into perspective and there’s always tomorrow. There are poor buggers starving and dying in the world every day, so I remind myself of this.
How do you relax away from the races? My two granddaughters Demi and Madison. I love coming home to see them, they’re a good leveller. If I’ve had a bad morning I’ll duck home sometimes to see the kids for half an hour and it takes my mind off things. I always come back feeling happier. I probably haven’t done that enough in my time – you know, to get more of a balance between work and personal time, but I’m getting there…slowly.
Horses to follow for 2017? Russian Revolution and the two-year-old Invader have been outstanding this year with Group 1 wins against their names, and I believe they have more to offer. Artistry and Redzel remain genuine and continue to improve, and NZ filly Astara has to come us through Neven Botica and has showed promise in her recent trial, so I’m really looking forward to seeing her resume on Stand Alone Day.
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Interview by: Sarah Peatling Words: Peter Snowden Image courtesy: Bradley Photographers
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