Western Australian Trainers Update / Western Australia / 11 Jul, 2011

** Kindly supplied by the Western Australian Racing Trainers Association


Landfill prices have recently been lifted to $120 a ton which will seriously impact on stable costs if stable waste has to be taken to landfill, rather than used for recycling. This warning came as an organic bin collection company warned trainers of concerns about a wide range of rubbish being dumped into company bins. Of particular concern are needles being disposed of in bins, which automatically disqualify waste from being processed for use on gardens. The company has appealed to trainers to take special care to ensure that only manure is placed in recycling bins.


While appreciating the recent Racing and Wagering Symposium, trainers believe the event covered too many areas by including trotting and greyhound racing. They are now seeking a further RWWA meeting to include Perth Racing, country racing representatives and stewards to deal with the many questions involving the thoroughbred racing industry now and into the future.


The running of the Foundation Day Cup at Northam on June 6 was a reminder of the changes that have occurred in metropolitan race programs over the last two decades. Once a major feature of Belmont racing on the holiday weekend, the race has now joined a long list of Monday race meetings that have been culled from Perth programs. Among the events to disappear are the Easter Handicap and Easter Cup, the “big race” double on the Easter Saturday-Monday weekend. Even the Anzac Day Cup is no longer run on Anzac Day. Perth is now the only major city in Australia that does not hold races on Monday holidays, a fact that will be raised by trainers at a future industry meeting.


For apprentice jockeys, the north has always been a major stepping stone on the road to riding opportunities and success. Such is the case with 18-year-old Alex Hearn who made his race debut on an unplaced runner at Northam on May 26. Two days later Alex was heading north where in less than two weeks he had 17 rides for four winners and seven placings. His first winner came at Carnarvon on May 29 aboard Dan The Fox. On June 11 he rode Aerial Act to win at Carnarvon and the next day he was at Port Hedland where he piloted Observation and Stormy Diva to victory. Deputy Apprentices Master Jeremy Hustwitt described Hearn as “a good lad. He has been well-tutored in trials, is dedicated to his apprenticeship and is deserving of success. Hearn, who is apprenticed to Brent Larsen, has been awarded a $200 Encouragement Award jointly sponsored by WA racing trainers and Bio John.


Several well-known horse trainers and several new names were among winners of weekly Hi Gains Awards chosen by Perth racing expert Ernie Manning. They include:

Dual Trainer: Justin Warwick, who has won major trotting races in Perth and the Eastern States, is another who has successfully combined racing and pacing. Most recent stable star has been the consistent Rosie Rocket who won a 1600m race at Belmont on May 14, the horse’s fifth win in seven starts over a seven-week period. Warwick has moved his address to Harvey where he is able to give his team more bush work and the change is paying off.

Brisbane Special: May 21 saw the Dan Morton team win a two-year-old race at Belmont with the promising Winged Angel. At the same time in Brisbane, Scenic Shot was winning his second Doomben Cup as an eight year old taking his career record to 17 wins and $2.9 million in stake earnings. Brisbane has been the happy hunting ground for Morton and Scenic Shot with six major race wins at that city in the last three years, including the Hollingdale, O’Shea Stakes, Brisbane and Doomben cups.

Grand Act: The Roma Cup has provided trainer Fred Kersley with a happy hunting ground in recent years with Grand Nirvana returning to form with a convincing win in the race on May 28. It was the gelding’s second success in the race, having won in 2009 and also the stable’s third win following Is Amazing’s success in 2006. Since then Grand Nirvana has gone on to win the major winter $125,000 Belmont Sprint on June 11.

Winning Way: Ascot trainer Damian Winn came under notice when Light The Skies won a Northam maiden race on May 26. That was the galloper’s 12th start in a race, but it was to be the forerunner of Winn’s biggest success in racing when 11 days later the same horse took out the Foundation Cup at Northam’s Monday race meeting on June 6 at the nice odds of 18/1.

Goldfields Veteran: The Biggs name has always been synonymous with goldfields racing at meetings as far apart as Leinster and Esperance. Neil Biggs reminded racegoers that the name lives on with a string of recent successes. On May 28 he landed a Leinster double, on June 4 it was a treble at the Leonora races and then another double at Leonora a week later.