2017 Winning Wednesday – The Everest

Breaking down The Everest-
What you need to know if not in the know!

Thoroughbred Racing in Australia dates back to the 18th century and as the interest in this sport evolved, some big milestones have been added along the way that has shaped the racing we all know and love today. These milestones vary from the establishment of racing clubs around the country and even important dates such as 7th February 2011, which is when the Sydney Turf Club and the Australian Jockey Club merged and became The Australian Turf Club (ATC). Perhaps one of the biggest milestones in our history is the first Tuesday in November 1861- the inaugural running of the Melbourne Cup (won by Archer).

Over time more milestones were added to the Australian Thoroughbred Racing timeline, this included the running of some of very iconic races in the world, including the riches race in the world for 2 yr olds- The Golden Slipper. Australian Racing has a large number of races that are recognised both nationally and internationally that each year attract a number of international raiders that come to our shores in the hopes of taking our trophies back home. With a history enriched with so many milestones, one could not be blamed for thinking how will the racing industry continue to evolve in Australia.

On February 1st 2017, the racing community Australia wide and even worldwide was sent in to a spin- the ATC had just announced a new initiative that would not only put Australia on the map but would put Sydney and our own racing headquarters Royal Randwick there as well. This date will go down in history as the day that THE EVEREST was announced.

However, more importantly the date that will be etched into our history books will be Saturday 14th October 2017, as this will be the inaugural running of the richest race run over 1200m  not in the country but GLOBALLY.

We have the race that stops the nation run on the first Tuesday in November, we will now forever also look forward to the Second Saturday in October for the annual running of the Everest in which 12 horses will compete for a prize pool of $10 million dollars. Australian Racing will never be the same!

If for some reason you have been living under an extremely large rock for the 8 months or have not been reading the news or listening to those of your friends involved in the racing industry, we have decided to give you a break down as to what all the hype is about.


  • The concept was adopted from the Pegasus World Cup run in America
  • 12 horses to run in the race over 1200m (in racing terms 6 furlongs, for those not in the know with the jargon 200m equals a furlong)
  • These 12 positions are referred to as “Slots” (no we don’t mean poker machines at your local RSL). Buyers for the slots can be both domestic and international and had to submit an expression of interest.
  • Each slot costs $600,000 per year for the next 3 years
  • If the application for a slot is approved, the slot holder is approved they then have the option of trading their position or partner with owners of a chosen horse to enter it into the final field.
  • The race is run under Weight for Age conditions- this means that the horses are weighted accordingly to their age and gender.


This is now the richest race on Turf not only in Australia but the world, meaning that it far surpasses the prize money for the Melbourne Cup.

How do the two races compare?

Melbourne Cup The Everest
Total Prize Money $6,200,000 Total Prize Money $10,000,000
1st $3,600,000 1st $5,800,000
2nd $900,000 2nd $2,400,000
3rd $450,000 3rd $800,000
4th $250,000 4th $400,000
5th $175,000 5th $250,000
6th $125,000 6th $175,000
7th $125,000 7th $175,000
8th $125,000 8th $175,000
9th $125,000 9th $175,000
10th $125,000 10th $175,000
11th to 24th $0 11th $175,000
12th $175,000


Like any major race that you have likely watched on TV or been present at the track, you potentially have also seen the impressive trophies/cups/plates that Jockey’s/Trainers and Owners hold up and kiss (much like Roger Federer winning the Australian Open).

Well, The Everest Trophy is just as impressive as others that are handed out in the Racing Calendar across Australia. With an attractive prize pool you kind of need a trophy that is just as prestigious as the race and that matches the winnings to go with it- the trophy for The Everest is attractive enough to say the least.

Designer: Cerrone Jewellers

The Finer Details

  • Hours taken: 920 ( to hand place all the jewels)
  • Contains 7,777 individual Black Diamonds, 230 White Cut Diamonds and 2 Rubies
  • Weighs 14 kilos
  • Total Value: $320,000
  • Two smaller versions will also be presented to the winning Jockey and Trainer both worth $47,000

Photo credit to Monica De Vries


A field like no other, there has never been a race anywhere in Australia that has a field like this! We have 12 of the fastest horses in the nation that will compete for the biggest prize on turf on Sydney’s most iconic racing stage.

There is not only a lot of excitement around the trophy and the concept but for months as the slot holders begun to announce their chosen steed to represent them, we have seen the field shape up to be nothing short of spectacular.

So with being just days away from the biggest moment in Australian sporting history (much bigger than Richmond winning the AFL Grand Final or Billy Slater announcing he is playing on), you really need to know who you will be cheering for come Saturday.

Photo Credit to Punters.com.au



Photo Credit to Punters.com


If you are an ATC Member be sure to check your emails for our regular communication from the ATC regarding Members Reserve Dress Regulations.

If you are General Admission and have not yet heard the update, the colour theme for Saturday is “White with a splash of Light/Sky Blue”.  So enjoy putting together your spring racing outfit and remember to get a photo in Vogue’s Fashion Shoot- you just never know you could win some amazing prizes on offer.


If you are fortunate enough to still be standing at the end of the day, after the last race in the Theatre of the Horse- race goers will be treated to a very special one off 60 minute concert from non-other than international global superstar- Jason Derulo (now that is something definitely worth sticking around for- we sure will be).

Overall, regardless if you have a punt on The Everest or not, one thing is for sure is that race goers will be treated to a day of fantastic racing, spring fashion and being part of Australian Racing History.

Article by Kylie Johnson

So where will you be this Saturday?

Thoroughbred Events Australia wishes all connections the best with their runners- we will be cheering trackside.



2017 Winning Wednesday – Special Edition – Flying to the Everest

Emma’s Flying Start & Steve’s Diva- English

Saturday 14th October 2017 will add another milestone in the long history of Australian Thoroughbred Racing. For many this day will be remembered for a number of varying reasons, but for one lucky stable it will be remembered as their horse winning the inaugural running of the richest race on turf- not only in Australia but GLOBALLY! With the total prize pool being a very lucrative $10 million dollars with $5.2 million going to the winner.

The race consists of 12 slots and these have been filled by 12 very smart equine champions, each earning their spot on their own merits. Of the 12, 4 of the contenders are female (Mares & Fillies) so to some it will be the ultimate battle of the sexes.

Thoroughbred Events Australia was fortunate enough to get up close and personal with one of the main contenders. Not only getting to know more about the horse herself as her name and record speaks for itself but we also got to know the people behind the scenes that we usually wouldn’t hear from.

Our Winning Wednesday interviewees do a lot of behind the scenes work with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott runner- ENGLISH. This week we get to know about the Flying Start that launched Emma Pearce (Racing Manager) into one of the most successful stables in Australian. Along with English’s favourite man (although she may not be his favourite lady) – Steve O’Halloran (Trackwork Rider & Servant)


Guys thank you so much for having us and what a beauty she is.

Now enough has been said about English so let’s get to know you both.

Emma Pearce- Racing Manager for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

How & Why did you get into Racing?

I grew up in Newmarket, England, so unsurprisingly I’ve loved horseracing from a very young age. My mum trains about 20 horses now but throughout my childhood she was an amateur jockey so my favourite memories are of us travelling around the country by car, horse float or helicopter, she did it all, to the different race meetings to watch her ride. Training in the UK is very different to Australia, the prize money is very minimal so it is hard to make a living and I think it was seeing my parents work every hour of every day, and giving up most of their own luxuries, drove me to focus heavily on my education.

In my early teens I remember saying to my mum, I love horseracing but if I work hard I can have a successful career and just own them. I think mum was quite delighted by this but then I vividly remember sitting in a laboratory at Exeter University looking through a microscope at shapes that I am sure they told me was bacteria or something and I knew then that I couldn’t do that for the rest of my life.

Godolphin Flying Start was a program that I knew a fair bit about and I knew it could open more doors for me than simply taking over my family’s business, which I was adamant I would never do, so knowing it was a long shot, I applied. I was also preparing to apply for a Masters in Forensic Science but had I not gotten onto Godolphin Flying Start, I don’t honestly believe I would have gone ahead with it. The reality was horseracing had always been my passion and always would be, I just needed to find my niche.

Who have you worked for in the past and what roles?

I worked for the sales company, Tattersalls, in Newmarket during school holidays and would drive the horse float, lead up (or strap horses in Australian terms) and saddle up on race day for my parents. I used to absolutely love programming the horses for my mum because it felt like the one factual thing that you could control.

Mum would tell me there’s a race for every horse so if I got the most suitable race conditions, the rest was up to her.

While I was at university I worked in jumps trainer, David Pipe’s laboratory. David’s father Martin was Champion Jumps Trainer 15 times and there’s so much about him that reminds me of Gai from his work ethic, to his spontaneity and ability to think outside the box, to his emphasis on having the fittest horse in the race, to his constant desire to learn from others. When I go home each year I try to make a trip down to the West Country with my dad, who used to work with Martin when they were both starting out as jump jockeys, and every year Martin sits me down in his kitchen with a cup of tea and quizzes me on working in Australia. It usually comprises of feed composition, training techniques, how horses are bedded, fed, veterinary practices, the gear the horses wear, when, why, the list goes on. He makes notes on every single word that comes out of my mouth. It is the highest-pressure test I have ever sat in my life. In saying that Martin is very giving too. He showed me his 20+ years’ worth of blood and lung wash analysis and is adamant that should you not fall within certain ranges, you will not perform. As a budding scientist at the time, this combination of science and horses provided me with some of the best mornings I can remember during my three years at university.

About a month after I graduated university I began Godolphin Flying Start where I had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest minds in the industry from across the world and this was when my eyes were opened to Australia’s thriving racing industry. I was immediately hooked and when I met Gai, that was it, I was moving to Australia. I started working for Gai, alongside Adrian, in 2013 and haven’t looked back since

How did you come to be Racing Manager for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott?

During Godolphin Flying Start I was given the opportunity to complete a work placement in each of the five countries we visited with a person or company of my choosing. After we visited Gai’s stable and spent a morning at track work with her I knew that was where I had to do my Australian placement.

Upon completion, Gai told me there would be a job for me should I wish to move to Australia when I graduated from the program and I think it took me all of two seconds to figure out that I would be taking her up on the offer. Within a week of my arrival her Racing Manager moved into syndication so I became Assistant Racing Manager and three years later Adrian became co-trainer opening up the Racing Manager role.

I’ve been incredibly lucky really. I’ve worked very hard but I have been in the right place at the right time and Gai has always been my biggest supporter, affording me life-changing opportunities.

Some people may not be familiar with the role of Racing Manager, tell us more about what your role involves?

My favourite thing about my role is that no two days are the same. My main focus is the programming of the horses as well as communication with the owners. I start at 6am out in the Trainer’s  Tower in the middle of Randwick Racecourse. We bring each of the jockeys and track work riders up and talk through each of their gallops and I make notes.

This is when Gai, Adrian and I can bounce ideas of each other and those who have ridden the horses that morning. This could be suitable races, gear, training techniques etc. At about 7.30am I head to the office, which is only about a 10 minute walk away, and go through the nominations and acceptances with Gai and Adrian before sharing that information with our vet, foremen and farrier. The rest of my day is spent putting together programs for horses, booking jockeys, identifying the most winnable races, making pre-race phone calls to owners, selling shares in yearlings and everything in between.

I am a huge fan of spreadsheets so my working day is generally centered around my spreadsheets.

What is the best part of your role? And if there is a worse part?

The best part of my role is getting a lowly rated horse to win a race, the good horses program themselves but finding a winnable maiden or class 1 in Sydney is much more thrilling than it may sound. Increasing a horse’s value or earning more prize money for our owners via careful placement is extremely rewarding.

The worst part of my role is the fear of missing something. I have always been a bit of a perfectionist so human error is extremely scary to me. I have four different alarms that go off at different points during the day to remind about deadlines and I live my life via reminders on my phone. My memory is average at best so that’s how I combat it.

What is your role in the journey to The Everest with English?

Her track work is consistently excellent, almost every jockey in the country wants to ride her and her owners, the Kelly family, are extremely well informed as they own Newhaven Park Stud. All of this makes my job very easy with regards to English.

What makes English a special horse?

English’s turn of foot (ability to sprint quickly) is phenomenal, as many people will have seen last Saturday in the Premiere Stakes. Her sectionals were blistering that day. She is one of few horses that has the capability to sprint at the start and the finish which makes her incredibly versatile.

How was she selected to represent the Stable out of all of Gai’s horses?

In her very first racing campaign as a 2-year-old English won the Reisling before running second to Vancouver by less than a length in the Golden Slipper. In just her second racing preparation she won the Group 1 All Aged Stakes against the boys and she has won two Challenge Stakes.

When they created a 1200 metre race at Randwick Racecourse worth $10 million, it had her name written all over it. She is already a Group 1 winner so why not prove that she is the best sprinter in the country by winning The Everest?

If English does win, what would that mean to you and why?

I get such a thrill from seeing our horses win having been a small part of the process in getting them to that point so I am well and truly on the very same ride as the owners.

How will you celebrate the win?

I have no doubt that there will be an almighty celebration at The Doncaster Hotel, about 100 metres from the racecourse, which the Kelly family own.

Now over to you Steve, you are fortunate enough in seeing this lovely lady on a daily basis, tell us more about this special mare (that you see more than your wife).

Steve O’Halloran’s “ English” Rider & Servant

What is English like to look after?

She’s not really a people person, she likes to keep to herself and doesn’t like too much fuss. In the mornings I will check her legs, make sure she has eaten up and is happy but then just leave her alone until it’s time for her to go out and work.

Tell us about her personality, does she have any specific mannerisms?

She’s not the type of horse that you can spend 20 minutes grooming, some horses love that, and she doesn’t. She knows she is a racehorse and doesn’t like to be pampered, she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms when enough is enough. When she’s out on the track she is all business, she is just very independent.

What is she like after she has won a race?

She walks back to the tie up stalls like she owns the place, you can tell she is full of confidence and very proud of herself. The photographers get the best photos of her after she has won, she seems to revel in the attention

Do you think she knows the difference between a Read more

2017 Winning Wednesday – This Girl is on Fire – Chelsea Ings

Horse Racing has always been known as the Sport of Kings and for many centuries was considered a male dominant sport, one in which women simply did not participate in. However, in the modern day of racing we are now seeing an increase in female involvement in the industry and not just in administration roles, we are seeing more female trainers, owners and a rise in the number of females who are willing to put their life on the line to steer a 500kg + animal amongst the boys- Jockeys.
Hawkesbury Race Track, located around 50kms North West of Sydney, in the early hours of the morning long before any of us normal people are awake the day begins for this week’s Winning Wednesday interviewee. The day usually begins with mucking out stables (for some not the most pleasant thing to do first thing) and then involves jumping on the back of these powerful yet amazing animals to put them through their paces, following the instructions of not only the boss but her mother as well.

This young lady is a name that will soon become familiar to everyone, you may or may not know her but this is one star that is definitely beginning to grow and we were fortunate enough in being able to catch up with the girl on fire herself- Chelsea Ings.

Chelsea thank you for your time and WOW, what a ride you are on at the moment!!

Your mother (Wanda Ings) is a Trainer, were you always destined to be a jockey or did you want to be something else?

Growing up all I ever wanted to do was go fast, they threw me out of pony club cause me and my pony Tinkerbell as they thought we were racing all the time. I believe even if I wasn’t raised into the game it would have found me eventually.
What has been your most memorable moment so far in your career, why is this the most memorable?

Surprisingly it was winning the Brewarina Cod Cup on Friendsinlowplaces, his owner was released that day from hospital and it was Mr George Wright’s birthday as well… it was just very emotional and I was struggling last year with some things and he was aptly named for what I was going through.

When you are having a tough day in the saddle, how do you keep yourself motivated?

I used to be real bad and criticize myself, but now I will reach out and ask for the help of fellow senior jockeys and stewards. And if I have been wasting I just imagine how good a roast dinner would be.

Who do you look up to in the Industry?

The likes of Nash Rawiller, Steven Arnold, Jason Collett… they are all beautiful riders and willing to help when you ask them something.

Last season saw you have a career best, what was your most memorable moment of the season and why?

Out riding my 2 kilo claim in the country on a trainer I have been wanting to ride a winner for since day one cause he has always supported me and always encouraged me, that being Kingston at Dubbo for John Higgins.

How do you find being an apprentice to your mother, Wanda Ings? Is it difficult or easy?

Working for family is always difficult cause you have to remember to leave work at work and not bring it home, because it can cause conflict… but other than that, being in a family business just makes it mean so much more.

Which horse is your favourite and why?

My favourite horse by far is Williamson, he has been hard work but he is the most honest horse and gives you 110% every time!

What is the one race you would like to win the most and why?

The championships meeting has always been my main goal, and we have a horse setting up for it next year, to ride a winner in town for mum would be amazing, but even better if it was the championships race.

Do you have a special routine that you follow to prepare for a race day?

Leading up to a race meeting I always make sure I’m aware of my weight and diet appropriately, and check on the horse’s form of the race and speed maps.

How do you celebrate your wins?

Depending on when my next race meeting is, I don’t mind occasionally going out to Chinese, we always head to Mountain Palace, North Richmond, when we have something to celebrate.

What are you striving towards in the new season?

Main goal this year is just to get amongst the top 5 apprentices in NSW, with the support I have I believe it’s going to be achievable! And also wouldn’t mind getting to the metropolitan meetings and riding a winner there.

The past few months have been quite the ride for you, tell us about some of your recent success

The last few months have been fabulous for me, starting all with Arise Augustus whose trained by Terry Evans, I have won two feature races aboard him, the BlinknMisit at Coffs Harbour and the Lightning handicap at Taree, he also ran a good 4th in the Hurricane Handicap at Newcastle on the 16th September.

Also won another feature my first country cup at Narromine aboard A Magic Zariza for Cecil Hodgson. Have really hit a purple patch the last couple months having endless amounts of luck and winners! It was a really big thrill for not only me but connections and trainer of Annandale Lass (Group 3 Godolphin Tiara- feature race on Ladies Day out at Muswellbrook) in Dean Jackson.

It has been my main goal to try and win such races for a long time and its finally starting to happen for me, hard work and plenty of traveling is the key (which I am not afraid to do).

What or who is the secret behind your success?

My biggest help this past few months has been my partner Brandon Griffiths, he has really kept me focused and helps me with my speed maps, and I really do appreciate his help!

From her last 50 rides Chelsea has had 6 winners, 7 seconds and 3 thirds.

This is definitely a girl on fire, an up and coming rider who is one to follow and if you own horses you would want on their back.

Thoroughbred Events Australia wishes Chelsea all the best and as an avid promoter of women in racing, we will be following this young lady!

Photos compliments of Sarsfield Thoroughbreds (www.racingphotography.com.au)

Interview by Kylie Johnson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid element_width=”3″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1528258666867-23732947-a04e-9″ include=”5548,5545,5547,5546″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2017 Winning Wednesday – Milliner – Carol Watson, Spring Millinery Luncheon


The Winner of People’s Choice Millinery Award – Carol Watson, The Hat Room

Expect Bold and Colourful for this Season

Racing has participants from all different aspects, you can be involved as an Owner, Industry Professional (Jockey/Steward/Stable hand/Trainer etc.) or simply as someone that attends the races either every weekend or once every so often. While we enjoy going to the races for a variety of reasons, for some racing is not about the horses, drinking copious amounts of alcohol or trying to win their millions on Winx- it is all about the FASHION!!!

In the modern era of racing there is such a big focus on race day fashion, including what is in trend and what is a no no. For the gents it is all about picking the right suit, including the colour, designer etc. For the ladies it is about the dress, the shoes, how to have our hair and what accessories to compliment the outfit- however, one of the most important parts to our outfit is our MILLINERY (Gent Tip: these are the head pieces that you see the ladies wearing at the races, commonly referred to as Fascinators/hats). This is where the most important person comes into the equation for a WINNING outfit- MILLINERS! Without the creative flair and inspirations of such talented individuals, people like myself would be without stunning pieces to add to our outfit.

On Sunday 17th September, we held our annual Spring Millinery Luncheon and the attendance was outstanding, including a lovely bunch of ladies who flew all the way from Melbourne to be with us. We were fortunate enough to have 14 amazing milliners from all along the East Coast of Australia show case their colourful creations, while enjoying a scrumptious meal. Here we celebrate outstanding achievements by women in the racing industry and today’s day was Elizabeth Treweeke (daughter of Richard Treweeke owner – to hear about the woman of the moment – Winx) and Lucy Keegan-Attard (wife and right hand woman of Jason Attard Racing).  One of the highlights of the day was the awarding of the People’s Choice award, this award involved the milliners entering a work of art and the attendees voting on their favourite.


Our Winning Wednesday interviewee this week is the lucky winner of the title for 2017- Carol Watson from The Hat Room. We caught up with Carol not long after being crowned the People’s Choice to get to know about the woman behind the stunning piece and to learn about what is on trend and the no no’s for the remainder of the Spring Carnival.

Carol, congratulations on People’s Choice, Let’s get to know the lady behind the very bold and colourful creations.

What was it about racing that got you interested in the industry?

I have always enjoyed the colour and excitement of horse racing. I love how privileged to harness the power of these magnificent animals. I also love fashion. What better opportunity to combine these two passions

When did you get into Millinery and how did you discover your calling for being a milliner?

My husband also loves horse racing so we go to as many race meetings as we can, and I dress up! I used to love creating outfits and tweaking store bought hats to accessorise my outfit. One of my early efforts involved a big Target hat and a very large amount of bright yellow fur! I still can’t believe I wore that thing, but it got me started on this journey.

Did you have to do any special courses/Where did you learn and who from?

Most of my millinery training took place in the millinery studio of Louise MacDonald in Melbourne, she is incredibly generous with her knowledge and a kind and patient teacher. I also attend millinery conventions regularly where milliners get together to learn new techniques from the Gurus and network with like-minded creatives.

Over the last 9 years, I have seen and experimented with many, and mastered a few, diverse and exciting millinery trends and techniques. The most recent was a few weeks ago when I had the pleasure of learning from Ian Bennett, and awesome UK milliner who shared his clever Crystaform knowledge in Melbourne.

Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating your pieces?

My inspiration often comes from a client’s outfit and brief, but I am always playing with materials to see what possibilities exist; other times, I see a shape or subject in an everyday situation and I will try to incorporate that into a design. Obviously there are some important considerations to be taken into account, e.g. wearability, weight, balance and height.

The best part of my job as a milliner is when you see the finished piece on a client with the rest of their outfit and they look and feel fabulous and confident. Confidence is real beauty.

Have you ever created a piece, looked at it and gone “what was I thinking?”

Oh of course, I’ve had my share of disasters, fortunately most of those end up on my own head!
Millinery is one of (if not the most) important feature of a ladies outfit, so what do you see being the trends for the 2017 Spring Carnival and importantly what should we avoid?

2017 is going to be the year of the crown. There are so many interpretations of this trend; Edwardian crowns, floral crowns, metallic jewelled crowns and quirky leather crowns.

This is a flattering shape on most people that is easy to wear. Sculptured feathers are big, and Boater hats and bigger brims are also still appearing in the Fashion on the Field competitions.

They made a TV show with the name “Orange is the new black” however, I would say that Turbans are the new black!

However, I’m a big fan of the big statement hat and nothing completes an elegant outfit better than a statement brim. In terms of colour, we are going to see lots of green and yellow, and florals and black and white never go out of style. This year I suggest adding a clash of colours or patterns to make your outfit ‘pop’.

The biggest fashion faux pas this year is going to the races without a hat!

What can we expect from your Spring Range this year?

My style is bold and colourful and I love a big statement hat. However, the classic elegance of neutral traditional shapes never goes out of style, so I balance my collection with a range of timeless pieces that can be worn year after year.

Guests at our recent Spring Millinery Luncheon had the opportunity on the day to vote for the “People’s Choice”, which was essentially awarded to the Milliner with the most votes on an entered piece. You were lucky enough to be selected as People’s Choice, how did that make you feel?

I was so very honoured and flattered to have my headpiece chosen as ‘The People’s Choice Award’. There were so many great Milliners at the event and lovely pieces entered, so to win was just amazing!

Tell us about the piece you entered and why you chose this to represent you?

The piece is a classic beret shape in nude leather with handmade silk abaca flowers in pastel pinks and greens gold leather accents. The colors are very ‘spring’, and it is finished with vintage French veiling that I purchased in Paris last year.

The Hat Room- is your Millinery based business, how did you come up with the name and what is the mission of your business?

I now have a studio at home, but early on I worked out of a bedroom when my last child left home, hence the name, The Hat Room.

Here is your opportunity if ladies are looking for millinery for the Spring Racing Carnival, how can they get in touch or where can they go to check our your colourful collection?

As well as my Ready to Wear range, I also welcome special and bespoke orders. My pieces can be found on Instagram @thehatroom, or on my Facebook page, The Hat Room.

We would like to congratulate Carol again and extend our appreciation to all the Milliners that gave up their Sunday to showcase their collections, not to mention, to all the ladies that also took the time out of their weekend to come along to view the collections, make new friends and catch up with others and our sponsors that help us make the event possible- a great weekend had by all!

Interview by Kylie Johnson

2017 Winning Wednesday – Clare Cunningham

Bairnsdale Girl Standing On Her Own Two Hooves

When both your parents train race horses and manage a horse stud, it is hard to imagine that you would do anything but follow in the footsteps and keep the tradition going. From small humble beginnings in the small Victorian town of Bairnsdale, this week’s Winning Wednesday person has had nothing short of an amazing ride with her career in the Racing Industry.

For 7 years our interviewee this week, worked alongside one of the best trainers and one of the best equines we have ever seen.  Now she is making a name for herself and kicking goals that she dreamed of as a young girl.

With her first winner and her first metro winner under her belt, there is no stopping this trainer that has taken a troublesome horse and turned him around to produce 3 wins in his last 5 starts- it is fair to say that our Winning Wednesday interviewee is finally coming out of the shadows and standing on her own two feet, introducing the one and only Clare Cunningham.

We caught up with Clare and got to know more about her journey so far……

How old were you when you got the bug for racing and how did you get involved initially?

Born into a racing family, mum and dad are Race horses trainers and also managed a stud. Training racehorses and all that lifestyle entails was my childhood. It’s in our blood, we live and breathe it. 

Did you always aspire to being a trainer or did you want to be involved in the industry in another role?

I always loved being involved in the industry but growing up  with parents that are trainers and working with Peter Moody for 7 years, I was exposed to the hardships of what a trainer has to face so it wasn’t very appetising to me. 

My dream job growing up was to work in the media and do post-race interviews on horseback (like Claire bird). Somehow my dream came true and in 2016 I got this opportunity for Racing.com, it was great! I feel so lucky to have been given the job, but sadly it just wasn’t me.

Most people may or may not be familiar with you working along-side the great Peter Moody trainer of Black Caviar, looking after his Sydney stables, tell us more about that experience? What was it like working for Peter? Did you ever get to look after Nelly, what was she like?

Yep I was lucky enough to stumble across Moody racing whilst I was studying in Melbourne. After a couple of years I went full time for Peter and was sent to Brisbane with Black Caviar (Nelly) and 4 other horses for a month, that was her 13th win up there. Nelly also came up to the Sydney stable staying for half a week on 2 occasions. And I will never forget the last time she run. 25/25 at Randwick, it was amazing to be a part of.

Meeting Peter and his stable has been one of the greatest things that has happened to me. At times it was challenging to run his barn but I would never change a thing for the world. I learnt and experienced so much not only in regards to the horses but also in relation to life and people. He has such a confidence about what he does, he is not only a bloody good race horse trainer but a ripen bloke. No beating around the bush.   Ran the stable like a business but it was a family at the same time… I think a lot of ex moody employees can agree that Moody racing is irreplaceable. The hole that is left after working there will never be filled. It stays open and I can keep reflecting back into now I’m a trainer. 

Nelly was the ultimate professional. Made to do be the star she is! Other than the continuous jobs the team had in keeping her sound, she loved working, eating and just being a horse. She had a great arrogance and confidence about her, I think she knew she was good.

The old saying goes “as one door closes, another opens”, Moody Racing closes down in Sydney and you decide to apply for your Trainers License- share with us the motivation behind this decision. (Share picking your stable location, racing colours etc)

Like I said above, it was very hard to fill the hole that Moody racing left. I tried working in the media and it wasn’t me, I didn’t feel satisfied with what I was and wasn’t doing. I then worked for a couple of successful stables in Sydney, all giving me learning experiences. Then I hit a bit of a cross road when breaking my hand from a track work fall, it got me thinking differently. 

I took a team to Magic millions for Bjorn Baker and it was then I felt the urge to have a crack for myself. I thought it was good timing and that I will regret never giving it a go. Once we broke very thing down and realised how many things I have in my favour it all seemed a bit more realistic.

I toyed for a few weeks about the design of my colours and in the end it was right in front of my face! I thought I would be so special to have colours that had a strong meaning, which symbolised my family. So my design is based on my families colours that mum and dad have had for 30 + yrs. my colours are cream with emerald green vee and cap. My parents are cream with emerald green sash and cap.  I love them to pieces, plus they are so visible on race day.  

I applied for a license at Warwick Farm because out of the 3 metro training facilities I like it the best. ATM it has so much to offer and I wouldn’t want to have them anywhere else (except a bit of beach would be nice).

Sir Barb (Pins x Baas) gave you your first winner as a trainer, tell us more about that moment? How were you feeling etc.?

Yes he did! It was a moment and feeling that is very hard to describe. No money in the world could take that day from me. He was the first horse on my books, he was a massive gamble for me and my family to buy, the win seemed to come pretty quick to people looking in but it took so much to get to that day.

Jason (Collett) rode Sir Barb (click to watch the replay) which was like a fairy tale and you could see on his face how much it meant to us and the months leading up to it weren’t easy. I was getting up at 2:15 am and getting home at 5:30pm nearly every day. Living out of my car pretty much, I had some sleepless weeks with carpal tunnel but looking back now it was worth it. One of the best things was to see how happy it made my family and friends! It’s such a racing thing, it can bring people together and give memories you will never forget. 

With the first win notched up, how did you celebrate that special moment?

The win was at Goulburn, so a couple hours from home. Jase and I got a roast pack from the Goulburn chicken shop and we ate it together in the carpark talking to our families and watching the replay. But we still cheers Sir Barb every time we open a bottle of bubbles.

Is there anything special that you do to celebrate the wins? Might be a special place you go reserved just for the wins, share it with certain people etc.

As you know we have to get up every morning to feed and work the rest of the team, so celebrations are often postponed to when we can enjoy a glass of wine and a good meal at an Italian restaurant. Jase has dietary limitations throughout the week so Saturday night is generally our time to indulge. 

Now, there is a bit of a story with Sir Barb and how he has come to be in your stable, share this with us?

Sir Barb came to our stable after we found him on bloodstock auction online. At that time I had applied for my license and had no horses…. Jason knew a bit about his ability as he had won on him whilst he was at Bjorn Bakers yard. The lovely gentlemen who had been training SB at the time was having trouble getting him to jump out of the barriers and participate on race day. He was very honest in telling me SB pro’s and con’s. At the time SB had a suspension from racing ban on him until he trialled successfully on 2 occasions. So I thought for the right price it was worth the gamble in buying SB plus I really needed a horse! Haha!

We were able to get him cheap enough so I spent the next month playing around with him trying to figure out what was going on and why SB didn’t want to be a racehorse. Step by step we kept achieving little goals, and in the end he won 3 out of his next 6 starts running a first and second in the city. He is now spelling and we are excited to get him back in for a fresh start. What also makes SB special is that he is owned by myself, my 4 siblings and their partners. He gives an added reason to chat and celebrate.

Your partner Jason Collett is also your stable jockey, how does being his boss and girlfriend affect the relationship? Especially if he rides a shocker??

Hahaha,   Yes its pretty dam cool to have your partner ride your horses. Not only is he a top shelf rider and horseman but having him apart of the experience is an added bonus. I think it is a HUGE asset to have a stable jockey (as such) to have someone on race day that has an invested interest in every one of your horses and owners.

He comes in and helps me sort through them during track work and the knowledge he develops about each horse plays a massive advantage on Race day.

We both ride the roller-coaster of racing together, no one is perfect and the difference is I know Jason will be trying his absolute best to give my horses every chance.

Being a Jockey Jason puts his life in danger every time he goes to work, as long as he comes home there is always tomorrow (a lot of people forget that).

Thanks to the first lady of Racing Gai Waterhouse, there has been an increase in female involvement in the industry- what are your thoughts and how far would you like to see the involvement go?

To be honest I hate talking about the topic. I have the up most respect for the female pioneers in racing that got the stupid restrictions lifted in the first place. However to me, TALENT is TALENT it comes in different genders, nationality age and colour. We need to get on with it, there is always going to be haters in the world and they aren’t worth worrying about. I have found the people that matter see through the rubbish.

Gai is an incredibly strong and talented individual in her own right, I take my hat off to what she has given and achieved in the racing industry.

Is there one race that you would like to win and why?

 At the moment I would love to win any group race but I suppose the Melbourne cup is just the epitome of racing achievements in my book. I would also like to win my local cup one day ‘Bairnsdale cup’ in front of my parents and locals that I grew up with.

What are the future plans for the stable?

Future plans; just keep doing our best by every horse. If I can go home knowing I’ve given each horse its chance to be the best it can then I’m satisfied. And most importantly have a stable I’m proud of, a business I want to keep getting up every morning for.

Are there any ownership opportunities available at present? If people want to get involved with racing a horse with Clare Cunningham Racing, how can they register their interest or get in touch with you?  

There is always ownership opportunities! The yearling sales start yearly each calendar year so the big opportunities are available then.

If there are people reading this that want to join the team as an owner then it’s a good idea to get in touch with the stable early with your interests so we have ammunition comes sales time. 

I have also just gotten the support of 2 syndication groups; Thoroughbred Leasing and Higgins Dalziel Racing who are open to any interests and may have shares available in horses that are getting trained by Clare Cunningham Racing. 

Email is the best way to get in touch Email is the best way to get in touch clare@clarecunninghamracing.com.au . You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.

You will be attending our up-coming Spring Millinery Event, share with our followers what your participation will be and what are you most looking forward to at this event?

I have been to 3 Millinery Events/ luncheons held by Thoroughbred Events Australia and I have thoroughly enjoyed everyone. I’m not only blown away by the millinery and fashion on show every time but it’s just a fun day.  With insightful information on guest speakers and other racing industry news. It has also been an event that I have enjoyed meeting and chatting with new faces.

Is there there anything else special that you would like us to make mention of in your article?

So appreciative and over whelmed by the support I’ve been given from so many different individuals. Thanks will simply never be enough!

                We wish Clare all the best and will be watching the stable closely.

If you would love to meet Clare and have a fun day out with like-minded ladies to talk everything race day fashion, including getting some advice from leading Milliners then be sure to grab your ticket to our Spring Millinery Event happening this Sunday. But be quick this is getting close to being a SOLD OUT event- Ladies you don’t want to miss the hottest trends this spring racing!

Ticket sales at http://www.sharonsays.com.au/spring-millinery-luncheon

Interview by Kylie Johnson, TEA’s journo


2017 Winning Wednesday – Queen of Hearts WINX

Every race horse owner, trainer and jockey always hope and pray that there will be that one special horse, the horse that captivates the nation or even on a global scale. We call these not only champions but a “Once in a Lifetime Horse”.

When we think of this term, we automatically begin to remember all the champions in the Sport of Kings- names such as the 1930s Melbourne Cup Champion – Phar Lap, Jack Denham’s  Champion Might and Power, Bart Cummings Horse from Heaven- Saintly, Champion 3yr old So You Think. These horses don’t come along that often but in the modern era, I have been fortunate to witness champions and legends be made with the likes of Makybe Diva- The only horse to win 3 consecutive Melbourne Cups (and female), Global Superstar and Unbeaten Mare Black Caviar only to name a few.

Usually when we get these stars we have to wait many years until another one comes along, however, we have been blessed that since Black Caviar’s retirement we have not had to wait too long at all. This week’s Winning Wednesday is none other than the current Australian Champion, winner of multiple Horse of the Year awards, Dual Cox Plate Winner, Queen of the Turf and our of course our Hearts- Champion Mare WINX!!

We were lucky enough to catch up with Winx as she takes in her 19th consecutive victory…

How did you get into racing?

Well that was predetermined for me long before I had even hit the ground as a fluffy foal. From the moment that my mating plan had been agreed to and my mum booked in for an expensive date with a stud, my destiny was to be a race horse. The only unknowns at this stage would have been will I be a filly or a colt, what kind of foal I would be and if I would be any good on the track (when I eventually got there)

Tell us more about your parents?

My father is none other than the stellar specimen bred by Sheikh Mohammed and winner of the 2012 Dubai World Cup- Street Cry. In his first crop of foals, dad produced the likes of fellow champions Zenyatta- America’s sweetheart (the only female winner of the Breeders Cup and winner of 19 of 20 starts only being beaten a nose), along with other stars in his stud career such as Street Sense (winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Kentucky Derby, Travers), Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, Whobegotyou and of course ME (I don’t need an introduction!)

Dad unfortunately passed away in 2014 and the sweet age of 16 but his legacy lives on in both his stud sons and successful daughters.

My mum is Vegas Showgirl (Al Akbar x Vegas Magic) was a New Zealand Stakes winning mare trained by Graeme Rogerson and bought by Fairway Thoroughbreds in 2008 as a Broodmare. To date she has produced the likes of me and so far I am her best progeny, however, I do have the following siblings:

El Divino (Snitzel 4 yr old colt and a $2.3 million yearling) trained originally by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and now in the Darren Weir stable.

A yearling sister from Snitzel who is yet to be named and will not be going through the sale ring. Mum is also currently in foal to champion sire Exceed and Excel. Only to name a few as mum does have progeny overseas as well.

It may seem so long ago, but tell us about your foal hood?

Well I was pretty fortunate to be bred in the picturesque Hunter Valley in NSW and what I think prepared me for the great things I am accomplishing on the track is I was born at the “Home of Champions”- Coolmore Australia (I mean seriously, have you not seen that place?? It’s a horse heaven!)

I recall being near mums side and running around the paddock with the other foals but then I also spent a lot of time laying around on the ground so that I could grow and develop- so other than that I don’t really remember much at all- those were the days where I could just be a little filly (that had big hopes and dreams planned for her) – how was I to know that this little filly would reached the heights I have.
As a yearling I was part of the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast (Lot 329) sale draft for Coolmore Stud and the gavel was knocked down at $230,000 to successful bidders Magic Bloodstock Racing, Richard Treweeke and Debbie Kepitis.

Do you know how you got your name?

Winx with strapper, Umut Odemislioglu

I sure do! As my mum’s name is Vegas Showgirl my owners named me after a Las Vegas burlesque show from the 1970s and 1980s. I am a bit of a show girl, I sure do love putting on a good show for everyone that comes out to see me. You have potentially seen me in a mounting yard somewhere and at times I can get on my toes (yes horses have toes), also when I get out onto the track and my strapper lets me go, I know it is show time.

It may seem like a long time ago now but tell us about your early racing career…

I didn’t have many starts as a two year old, only two infact. I made my maiden debut on 4th June 2014 and won (Warwick Farm). I then had another race and won that to at Rosehill Gardens over my favourite distance of 1400m.

My first big race win came as a maturing 3 year old, I resumed in and won the Group 2 Furious Stakes over the short 1200m at Royal Randwick. I was soon to taste defeat as I was beaten by that spunky mare trained by John Thompson in First Seal, Tea Rose Stakes and Flight Stakes- so I was sent for a break. My 3 year old season was a bit of hit and miss, there were occasions where I was unplaced.

Lucy & Jason Attard

As a 4 yr old, I resumed as favourite in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes and won by only a head to the race outsider but very talented Sons of John (trained by that good looking pair Jason and Lucy Attard at Hawkesbury).

It wasn’t until the 24th October 2015 in which I lined up as the favourite in the most prestigious weight for age race in Australia- the W.S. Cox Plate. That field had some very talented international gallopers and I put them away winning by four and three quarter lengths and in a race record of 2:02:98. This is when the reign of Winx had begun!

And what a roll you are on, what has been the highlights so far?

Oh so many to pick from! Definitely winning back to back Cox Plates (and I hope that I can win a 3rd consecutive- I could be the new Makybe Diva but with this race!).

I don’t know if it is very lady like to say this but the other thing I have enjoyed the most is breaking that good looking horse, Hartnell (Godolphin) heart. That poor bloke is a stunning individual and maybe if we hadn’t been around in the same era he would be a bigger champion but I just can’t help the battle of the sexes and showing him that Females can rule the turf (swinging my head singing Girls Just Want to Have Fun). He is like the modern day Hay List- he always saw Black Caviar’s behind, Hartnell always sees mine…. Gotta feel for the bloke.

You have just notched up consecutive win number 19- how does that make you feel?

What an amazing feeling, right!!!!! The thrill of giving the rest of the field a head start and then rounding them up is what gets the adrenaline pumping and the flags waving (don’t think I don’t see them waving as I burn up the straight). I am a pretty blessed individual that I have a talent and that I can share it with so many people.

Your last two starts you have given race goers and your fans a scare, tell us more about that?

Oh yeah! Not sure if I should apologise for that as I like showing off (after all my mum is Vegas Showgirl and I was named after a burlesque show). When I watched the replay of my run in the Group 3 Warwick Stakes, I honestly had my heart in my mouth…. What! What! What! I missed the kick by so much and gave the rest of the field a big start. However, I knew the Hugh would know what to do. I could see my stable mate Foxplay making her move and I knew I had to pull out that signature turn of foot. I couldn’t hear any cheering from the crowd-I think they were all worried today was the day I was going to be beaten. Hugh showed me clear running and off I went, found the line (just).

Red Excitement & Winx

Then yeah the Chelmsford Stakes on the weekend!!! Not as eventful as the start before but yeah watched the replay, that Red Excitement and Josh Parr really gave me something to run down- even I was scared but I still believed that Hughie and I would fly, I heard Darren Flindell even say he didn’t think I could run the leader down… I felt something come over me and I flicked on my turn of foot and took off after them, boy what a run!!! Sorry Josh and Red Excitement.

To what do you owe your success to?

Oh it is absolutely a testament to the people I have around me and making sure that I am happy and healthy. Without people like this I sometimes wonder if I would be a different horse and if I would be as successful as I am- my wins is my way of paying them back for all the faith and long hours they put into making me the best I can be.

Tell us about these people….

Debbie Kepitis

Well obviously there are my faithful owners, you all know Deb (I always make her speechless and crying at the races) and the others of course Magic Bloodstock Racing- they took a big punt on a small filly walking around the sales ring without even knowing what I would develop into so to be able to recoup that outlay and some is such an honour.






Hugh Bowman

The next to be grateful for is of course the man who is tasked with looking after me in the races, Hugh Bowman…. Hughie!!!! What can I say about him, he always makes me relax when we head around to the barriers and even during the race, he knows when to let me go and doesn’t even to use his whip to get me going. But you hear from him after races, trials or even my morning workouts.

Chris Waller

Then there is my trainer, that kiwi man Mr. Chris Waller….. mmmm what can I say about Mr. Waller???? He is definitely a master and has always placed me well in my races and has always believed in my ability and always does his best to make sure I am happy and healthy. Although not a fan of Waller when he decides to drag me out of my nice warm box with a big bedding of warm hay on those cold winter mornings to be sent out to do track work- that’s just not cool man and not how we do things here in Australia, oh actually yeah it is, well guess I can forgive him- but it is great making him emotional with my wins, ever seen a man cry- well you have because of me.

But there is a special man in my life and I am forever indebted to, no it is not Hartnell….. I can’t say enough good things about my Strapper and constant companion- Umut Odemislioglu. I mean have you looked at that man??? Apart from his strapping good looks he really has a heart of gold and makes sure that I am relaxed, fed, comfortable and a happy healthy horse. He is always there with me in the early hours of the mornings, holding onto my lead when being paraded in front of the cameras.
Umut is one very special person and I thank him for all the hard work and dedication he has put into me- I feel I owe it to him, after all he did leave home at the tender age of 20, travelled around the globe for the love of us equines. His main passion simply to learn more about the racing and breeding game- well he arrives in Australia and I am the girl to make all of his dreams come true.

When I am returning to scale a winner, he is always there to greet me with the biggest smile on his face, a pat and a kiss….. What more could a woman wish for!

There are current debates about who is the World’s Best Race Horse between yourself and Arrogate, what are your thoughts on that?

These debates always seem to occur when there are two champions somewhere in the world. I am not one to comment however, he is a star in America on the dirt and I am a star here on the turf. I do hear the whispers around the barn about if there were to be a match race who would win and I am sure that there are a lot of enthusiasts that would love this…. I prefer to let the world rankings do the talking, so we will soon see who the title belongs to.

All I will say is that I am the Thunder From Down Under and I have broken a lot of male equine hearts (sorry again Hartnell) but something tells me in my bones that I will be at that top of the list- I am simply the Queen of the Turf and Australians Hearts.

Anything else you would like to share Winx?

Yes, please keep wearing those blue Winx hat’s that I see and waving the Winx flags- I see all that and I appreciate it so much from the bottom of my big heart. To see so many people pack the grandstands and to see the future of tomorrow (your children) cheering me home is what keeps me going and continuing to do what I do so well….. WIN!

We thank Winx for giving us her time while relaxing after her breathtaking win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes and we look forward to her next assignment which is potentially in two weeks’ time on the 16th September at Royal Randwick. If you can be sure to get yourself trackside to see a CHAMPION!


Written by Kylie Johnson photos by Thoroughbred Events Australia
A special thank you for such an outstanding article.

Voted #1 Best Pre Spring Racing Event in Sydney

It is that time of the year when we start to think SPRING racing. It can be daunting to think “where do I start?”. Well, it would be my privilege to help you.

To buy tickets, click HERE.


I have been holding fashion millinery events now for over 8 years showcasing the largest and most beautiful millinery event Sydney has to offer.  Each year I go on the search for new milliners who show “something different” while still showcasing the leaders in the millinery world. There is nothing quite like our Event.

This year we have 13 AMAZING milliners to showcase to you. Each milliner will be showcased individually (so stay tuned):

Cynthia Jones Bryson, Carmel Butler,
Kathleen Brenda Watson,
Margaret Keeble,
Tamila and Mariya Tkachenko,
Elizabeth Barden Designs,
Just For You by Ruth Connor Millinery,
Brenda Lui-Designs, Chantelle Westlake,
Rebecca Hanley, Carol Watson,
Kerry McGlone AND Neil Grigg

If this is not a line up, I don’t know what would be!!!!

All pieces are there to sell so you can watch a millinery parade, you can try them on and you can ask for advice from the professionals.  We will have in excess of over 300 couture pieces – never seen like this under one roof in Sydney.

Not only have I been running these glamorous events, I also host many fashions on the field around country NSW (and when I say many – I really mean many – approx a further 7 race clubs between now and November). So I promise you, I know racing fashion,  I know the racing people and I know the winning looks.


Most importantly I know women love to lunch.

At these events we applaud incredible women in the racing industry. To date we have heard from: Stephanie Waller (wife of Horse Trainer Chris Waller), Cathy McEvoy (from the Payne family & wife to Jockey Kerrin McEvoy), Jaimee Rogers (TAB), Kim Waugh (Horse Trainer), Trish Egan (Vice Chairperson ATC), Angela Belle McSweeney (Director ATC), Clare Cunningham (Trainer and who looked after Champion Black Caviar) to only mention a few.

A special mention to our amazing models who just love racing and fashion: Tayla, Alice & Karyn Johnson, Kody-Leigh Hirst, Britt Tamou, with special guest models, horse trainer – Clare Cunningham & Sky Racing – Chynna Marston.

At our up and coming event we a will hear from Lucy Attard (former rider at Chris Waller and now co trainer with husband Jason Attard Racing). Her role is diverse and hands on – you will not want to miss her story.


If possible, to top our day off, this event will be hosted by Australia’s media anker at Eurovision – Chris North. We also welcome for the first time Australian’s leading lingerie company – Bras N Things who you will see at our parade. All this will be held at the beautiful ParkROYAL Darling Harbour on Sunday 17 September.

And why?

Because our events continue to sponsor the many events around country NSW where our beloved off the track race horses have gone. We continue to sponsor Quirindi Show Society, Scone Polo Club, Polo in the City, Scone Hunt Club, Tamworth World Show Jumping, SIEC Horse Trials, Northside Riding Club with expansion on the horizon so you know your attendance is really importance so we can give back to the industry we love.

I assure you I do not sit still. With a calendar full of charity work on top of my events, on top of running fashions on the field both at the track and off the track, I encourage you to support this Event. I know “We Care” about our thoroughbreds and our country community.

For tickets to the Spring Millinery Luncheon go to: http://www.sharonsays.com.au/spring-millinery-luncheon



2017 Winning Wednesday – Half of the Winning Formula – The STUDS!!

At the end of August is when the Hunter Valley in New South Wales comes alive.  The who is who in the racing industry whether you are an enthusiast, owner, Group 1 winning trainer or a trainer in general and more importantly the breeders all descend on this picturesque location for one purpose – STUDS.

Every year some of the largest Thoroughbred studs in the Southern Hemisphere open up the gates and allow people to come in and check out the studs and to finalise the match making that will hopefully produce that special horse- the next winning champion to grace our tracks!

The superstars of the breeding barn are all horses we are very familiar with, we have either seen pictures of them as a foal taking their first steps, we may have potentially seen them go through the sales ring and perhaps be the sale topper, we have most definitely seen them on the track and importantly we have seen them in the Winners Circle- Champions of the turf now leaving behind a legacy that will continue on for many decades to come.

This week’s Winning Wednesday focuses on THE STUDS OF RACING– making them half of a winning formula producing the future WINNING Champions.

Thoroughbred Events Australia was fortunate enough to be in attendance to some of the biggest studs known for producing champions, here is our wrap up of the weekend.

Saturday 26th August

Arrowfield Stud

The weather was absolutely gorgeous and guests were treated to fantastic hospitality put on by John Messara and the entire team, there were even baristas to provide everyone with the very important caffeine boost needed to get through what would be a very busy day.

The presentation of the stars given by Susan Archer who is in charge of all Media & Communications for the stud. This year Arrowfield with 3 main focusses for their Stallion Roster – The best of Danehill, Japanese Champions and Global Champions.

An exciting line up of stallions that were champions on the turf and have continued to succeed in the breeding barn, continuing their duals for being the most successful sire.

Old Favourites of Arrowfield returned including the ever aging but still just as graceful Redoute’s Choice, Freak Race horse and successful stallion Snitzel, Not a Single Doubt and Smart Missile. Joining the Best of Danehill range on offer included the new boys on the block in Panzer Division and the Next Top Supermodel Race Horse (and very gorgeous) Scissor Kick (pictured).

Representing the Japanese line returning to Arrowfield stud for another breeding season down under is Real Impact and joining him is the dual Group 1 sprinter/miler winner Mikki Isle and Japanese Horse of the Year in Maurice. Representing the Global Superstars is the returning 2013 Dubai World Champion (with his trophy in reception) Animal Kingdom, Dundeel and the new stud on the block, Shalaa.

After the viewing of the studs, we were given a very special treat in being introduced to two of the early season foals, one by Scissor Kick out of Serenade Lily, who was a bundle of joy and great entertainment.

Darley – Godolphin

We made a brief stop in to Darley or the newly named Godolphin, in the hopes of laying our eyes on the one and only Lonhro. Unfortunately, missing the Stallion Parade we enjoyed a picturesque environment and lunch on the lawn, also taking advantage of the opportunity to be pictured with the 2017 Melbourne Cup.

Now this is a stallion parade with a difference and a first time experience. Typically the parades are done on the same days and at the same times, making hard to get around to all the studs you wish to see. Kitchwin Hills however, is different!

Kitchwin Hills

Far from any other stud located in Isis Valley, Kitchwin Hills is blessed with some of the most absolute stunning horse country with an array of natural resources to assist in the development of the future stars bred on this farm – including calcium rich soil which assists in developing bone strength, the nearby Isis River but country that would make you feel like you are in The Man From Snowy River.

This event kicked off at 6pm, sun had well and truly set and the night chill was beginning to set it – to the point you could see the fog across the paddocks. Luckily, once checked in and proceed past the office (which looks more like a homestead) we discovered many small bon fires to huddle around and connect with other individuals.

This time there were no fancy sandwiches or canapés, instead dinner was a good old Aussie barbeque and soup (to keep us warm).  We were treated to a visual presentation before each stallion was paraded and if you had been to the Sydney Show you would have potentially felt that you were watching the reenactment of the man from Snowy River. As the stallions were led out, they were absolutely under a spot light!

Kitchwin Hills stands only 3 stallions but these boys are three of the most prolific in the racing industry- Dane Shadow (sire to stars such as Red Tracer, Hurtle Myrtle, Tsaritsa and Danish Twist) and first season sires Sooboog (sired by Snitzel and half-brother to the very talented Snitzerland) and a $1.5 Million dollar yearling, along with Counter Attack (sired by Redoute’s Choice and brother to Red Tracer)

Once the parade had finished we were then treated to a spectacular display by a horse doing tricks – yes can you believe a horse completing an agility course like dogs do! Unfortunately, I missed this as I took the opportunity to get up close and personal with the studs down in the stallion barn and to learn more about the plans Kitchwin Hills has for the new boys on the block and of course the old boy – Dane Shadow (not one for a party)

The best way to describe this parade other than one with a distance is it has a very Australian Outback feel and really represents what Australians are all about – Beautiful Country and Breeding Champion Race Horses.

Sunday 27th August

No rest over what is a busy weekend, so on the Sunday we were back up bright and early, heading towards the last two studs on the tour. First up…..

Vinery Stud

Again not a stud I had been to previously, however, had only ever heard good things to the point that I had told myself this year Vinery was a must. Located in the gorgeous Segenhoe Valley, Vinery is spread across 2300 acres of lush green paddocks that include a nice balance of river flats and rolling hills, ideal for raising quality and tough thoroughbreds, along with many other benefits to assist nurturing the future stars of the turf.

Upon arrival, you walked through a marque that was lined with a gorgeous breakfast with choices including fresh juice, muffins, quiches, sandwiches and other delights, then as you venture out to look over the property on site coffee vans for those that may be requiring a new round of caffeine to help with the recovery from the night before.

Right on queue … we are ushered to take up an advantage spot so that we could see the studs strut their stuff in front of a massive crowd. Vinery is home to some of the biggest names that ever graced the turf and frequently occupied the Winners stall and boys I was very excited to be seeing for the very first time.

First up the old stalwart of the stud and one who has absolutely left a big imprint on the industry the big beauty himself More Than Ready. A horse introduced as one that has more frequent flyer points than most humans and is very well travelled, with earnings over $1 million dollars and the rock star looks, he has produced stars such as More Joyous, Sebring, Prized Icon, Samaready, Phelan Ready and fellow sire Pluck just to name a few.

Next up to follow was MTR’s sire son in Pluck. To look at Pluck there is no mistaking who his father is. Pluck has so far given us super stars Mongolian Wolf, Plucky Girl and Lucky Louie to name a few. Out on the Stud walk next was Champion First Season Sire in Casino Prince for also delivering fellow sire, All Too Hard to us- and what a star he was! Other super star progeny from this stud include Hooked, Mighty Lucky and Casino Dancer. But to follow was his biggest superstar son in All Too Hard. The half-brother to the infamous Black Caviar, now strutting his stuff on the Stud Walk. A horse that had so much hype on him from the day he was born and more intensely when he stepped on the track, All Too Hard surely did not let us down with his ability

A horse that needs no introduction strides out next, Testa Rossa. A group 1 winner at 2, 3 and 4 became a favourite to many of us and around the crowd he was definitely one that people had come to see. Producer of stars such as Ortensia, Testifiable, Sistine Angel, Unencumbered and Pane In The Glass.

The last three to come out were also the new boys in the barn – Press Statement (unbeaten star of his time), Headwater (by Exceed and Excel) and the stunning individual and another all had come to see, Star Turn (by Star Witness and retired to stud in 2017)

After the parade had concluded, we were invited to get up close and personal with the boys – of course I took the opportunity and they are some very impressive boys, should they stamp their progeny with their traits we will continue to see impressive foals drop and develop into future champions of the track. However, in More Than Ready’s case – he just had to be the main attraction with his barn antics.

Coolmore Australia

Last and absolutely not least and by no means a small stud to finish off what had been an amazing weekend with gorgeous weather, great people and hospitality but wrapping up at the stunning property that is Coolmore Australia.

This picturesque stud is located in Jerrys Plains and was established in 1996, stretched across 8,000 acres that is home to 5,000 irrigated flats and undulating paddocks that have been home to some of racing’s biggest turf stars and will be for many years to come. Coolmore’s tagline is “Home of Champions” and this is so very true, being the nursery that has produced superstars such as Fastnet Rock, Redoute’s Choice, Vancouver, Pride of Dubai and of course the current Queen of the Turf and our hearts- Winx.

The crowd is massive and enjoying a delicious lunch of salads and Mexican on the lawns of Coolmore while we wait for the next stallion parade to commence. It presented great opportunities to network amongst other industry experts and to continue to develop knowledge and to share highlights of the weekend – or to even be spotted by a jockey on fire at present and doing it for women in racing – Chelsea Ings. What we were we both doing at Coolmore – well of course looking for part of the winning formula needed when breeding mares.

Once lunch had been enjoyed and as the time neared, people began to flock to the parade area to secure that prime location to see the Crème de la crème of stallions’ parade before us. I waited in anticipation as some of my personal favourites of all time now call Coolmore home.

The parade started off with a sad sentiment – the soon to be retired Encosta De Lago (pictured) graced the Stud walk for what would be his final time. Now at the ripe age of 21 (or 96 in human years), Encosta has now been pensioned off and will now see out the rest of his days no longer being led to the mating barn. What a legacy he leaves behind and has influenced Australian breeding for so long, it was a fitting farewell.

Like any of the other studs, Coolmore has its returning studs for this breeding season including super stars Choisir, Fastnet Rock, StarSpangledBanner, So You Think, Pierro, Rubick, Pride of Dubai

New boys on the block at Coolmore include World Conquering and Cox Plate winner in Adelaide, European Champion 2yr Old  Air Force Blue, Record Breaking 2yr old No Nay Never, First Season Sire Vancouver and the one that everyone had come to see the first triple crown winner in 37 years American Pharoah (pictured below).

All stallions were just as impressive as each other, some on their toes and deciding to show off while others took it in their stride and well behaved. I personally had been dying to see So You Think and was not left disappointed, truly a majestic specimen and stamps his progeny well. I have never heard so many cameras click until American Pharoah was being led around. Another very impressive specimen and being so close able to see the muscles that this dude has – breeders in Australia wait with anticipation to see what the first foals of this global superstar will be like and how he will stamp them and of course what success they will have on the track being by one of the best the world has ever seen.

So with the Studs back in their boxes and a belly full of food, the long trip back to Sydney begun. What a weekend it was and one that was thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend that if you love racing and the Thoroughbred as much as we do at Thoroughbred Events Australia then this is a weekend you MUST put on your bucket list and do – you won’t be disappointed.


Article by Kylie Johnson

2017 Winning Wednesday – Maurice Sinclair

Breeding Horses is my Game!

In racing, it is usually the jockeys and the trainers that get all the accolades when a horse does well on the track. The owners are also involved as they get to celebrate the success in the winning owners lounge and for some – likely to be a bigger celebration after the races- especially when putting the winning photo up on the wall (with all the others).

There are many people involved in the game that do not get attention and some of these people are key players in the game of racing. All the success that the owners, trainers and jockeys get to enjoy would not be possible without a particular person- The Breeder!

Breeding race horses requires a lot of time spent looking at bloodlines of both sire and dam, working out what mare to send to which stallion, thinking about how will the mating plan work, what kind of foal will arrive amongst many other things. These are the things that most of us tend to forget about when celebrating our victories- because not only is it a victory for the connections, it’s a victory for the individual or business that did the mating plan and bred the future star.

This week’s Winning Wednesday we got to spend some time with Breeder – Maurice Sinclair to learn more about him and why he got into the breeding game.


Maurice, thank you for your time- tell us a little about your involvement in racing…….

Q1. When did you get involved with racing?

I used to sell Sun Herald newspapers at race tracks when I was 11 and12 years old. Those days you had a break from selling between Race 1 and the last race. So we used to go into the course and punt our hard earned away until the last race. I had a penchant for remembering Jockey and horse names for some reason. Also I remember the radio being tuned into 2KY growing up and my father’s TAB tickets. They were all coloured pink for Sydney, blue for Melbourne and I think green for Brisbane.

Q2. How are you involved with racing now?

I formed a partnership with my close mate Colin Bell about 28 years ago. He is a fantastic partner and of similar ilk. We race horses in several jurisdictions around Australia depending on the horse’s ability.  In addition we have been building a breeding business for many years.

2014 Melbourne Cup Day with Colin Bell and a runner

 Q3. What is it like to be a breeder/Lessor? Why did you choose this avenue?

Breeding offers many new challenges, trying to marry confirmation, pedigree and budget to get a commercial outcome is not much different from punting.  It is high risk and potentially high return.  I used to scan the Sunday papers for nearly 40 years to read Saturday’s race results. I would check Sires, Dams, Owner’s etc. without really knowing why. I have always been attracted to the breeding side.

We also purchased a run down, pre training, breaking and Agistment property at Cranbourne from Len Treloar, whom we had several horses with.  Len was going to Singapore to train and the timing was right. We employed some excellent staff and built a solid business with some large Melbourne trainers as our customers.  We sold it a couple of years ago but this venture provided us with many insights and knowledge into a part of racing usually unexposed for owners. We started to build our horse numbers up slowly during this time and we purchased our first broodmare La Rouge. She is by Red Ransom and out of a Zabeel mare so she wasn’t short of good blood.  Unfortunately she was slow and couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night.

It was around this time that we raced the bulk of our horses in Melbourne and it was those connections that led to racing in Adelaide as well.

Q4. What has been the best horse you have been associated with and why?

I really enjoyed racing Avionics. avionicsShe was a quality mare who won over $400k in prize money. She should have won some Group races however a combination of factors always seemed to conspire against her. She was tough and gross and always gave her best.  She is now part of our successful breeding business and in partnership with Glen Eagles Stud in Yarra Glen she is a mare that just keeps on giving. Although she doesn’t have much to show (thus far) we are really enjoying Don’t Doubt Marley.

Robbie Griffiths said she was a Group horse and unbeaten at two and as an early 3 year old was racing against the best fillies in the country.  She has been out injured for nearly a year with a fractured sacrum. This is fixed now so hopefully we will see a better horse as this is another one that just gives her all in a race.

Q5. When one of the horses you have bred and/or own wins, how do you like to celebrate? Special place you go? Certain friends you share it with etc.

We have not bred too many as yet although we have sent 7 mares this year to stud.

Our first home bred was Stryke A Ransom (Stryker x La Rouge) and she is showing lots of promise. Kim Waugh trains her and in her first race she was just beaten by multiple city winner Sugar Bay Leonard (Encosta De Lago x Sugar Bay- Trained by Joe Pride).

She then came out and beat some handy ones at Gosford. Last prep she was beaten a nose by another smart one, Hussterical (Beneteau x Hussterics) Trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott). She is back in work now and we can’t wait to see her return. She certainly has talent and Kim has a lovely gentle approach to training her that seems to bring the best out when she races.

In terms of celebrations I am not big on that but prefer a quiet dinner with friends and other owners. Last year we had 15 wins, 9 seconds and 8 thirds from 48 starters so my biggest thrills come at the very moment they cross the line. That is enough for me that adrenalin charge you get when your horse wins is what keeps me in the game

Q6. You lease horses to the From The Track Syndicate, how did this partnership come about?

I knew Alan Hardes from Newcastle Jockey Club (NJC) as he was on the Board.  I knew he leased horses and we like to share our horses and bring new people into racing as well.

I gave FTT syndicate a share in a filly by Casino Prince x Miss Tendulkar and unfortunately it wasn’t very good. So I felt bad about that and then gave them a decent share in a beautiful Poets Voice x Regal Fun filly, we purchased from Inglis Sales which one of the syndicate members named as Delmira. She also turned out to be a bit of a hot filly and we tried many ways to get her to improve.

Unfortunately she didn’t and the only two horses I have given FTT have been the only 2 of mine that never won a race. All others have.  I know many of FTT syndicate who have done a wonderful job getting people into racing. I will wait and when I have a good one I would really like them back in as I feel I owe them. It will happen.

 Q7. What is it about the Thoroughbred that interests you?

Being around horses is cathartic for me, I feel relaxed and at peace with myself. It is one of the few moments where I am entirely lost in the moment. I love the different personalities they have.

We have a decent share in a Snitzel colt with Paul Perry that looks promising. He has an arrogant personality and on the other hand we have a beautiful mare by Poets Voice with Kristen Buchanan who has the sweetest nature.

 Q8. Have/Do you had associations with any race clubs? If so which ones and how were/are you affiliated?

I am a member of ATC and NJC and these two memberships give access to many other race courses. In 2009  I had a sea change from many years in the Corporate sector and took up the challenge as CEO of the NJC.  I loved that job and it gave me the opportunity to marry my passion to my work and meet many new people.  I used to love spending time with trainers, members, jockeys and other participants in racing and have built a wonderful network as a result.

Newcastle is a beautiful place to live and work and everyone told me I wouldn’t leave and they were right.

Q9. When not involved in racing, how do you like to relax/have fun?

We put a lot of time into our Family transport business and outside of that l love to spend time out at sea, fishing or enjoying the more passive boating on Lake Macquarie. But the most precious time of all is reserved for my Grandchildren and my Son and Daughter and their partners.  I just love it that we have such immediate access to such wonderful restaurants and we often go up to Hunter Valley for a long lunch.

It also gives me a chance to pop into Watagan Grange who do an absolutely wonderful job with my horses. They are a valuable part of our success as they turn out the horses in prime condition for their return to racing or breeding. Lee Kerin who owns Watagan Grange has a wonderful gentle approach to horse husbandry and this manifests as nicely conditioned and contented horses.  I have to thank Alan Scorse for that as it was he that introduced me

Q10. If you could only pick one- Winx or Black Caviar? Why?

I love Winx she can sprint and also race over the classic distances. She is tough and she can handle all track types.  To compare is like trying to compare a top of the range Ferrari against a top of the range Lamborghini both are exceptional.  Both have made enormous contributions. But to win two Cox Plates and probably a 3rd this year is just an amazing achievement. We all knew how good Kingston Town was, well keep watching this mare.

Q11. How are you going this year and what do you put your success down to? This year (calendar) we are on target to better last year with a good Spring expected.

We have some talented horses coming back or starting out so we can’t wait.  Our success is driven by many things including selecting the right trainer for the right horse, selecting the right area to race. Not all make city grade.  Buying or breeding the right types of horses to match your goals is critical. There are many factors that underpin performance and eliminating as many variables that reduce a horse’s performance is critical during the selection process. It is akin to punting where I tend to cross out horses that can’t win rather than look for a winner.  That way a short list emerges and this has proven to work for me anyway. Finally you can’t have success without attention to detail. From how the horses are broken to how they are grown out to be ready to race  to the choices the trainer makes about placement, race frequency and a thousand other micro decisions to agistment, pre-training and other spelling decisions are all critical elements of success. We have most of our horses including our broodmares agisted at Watagan Grange and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their care of our equine interests.

Maurice, we thank you for your time and we look forward to following the results of y
our breeding plans.

Perast (9).JPG

Perast – Raced Saturday 12 August 2017, Rosehill


Interview by Kylie Johnson
Photos by Sharon Lenton & From The Track