Trainer Selection Criteria
The most important criteria from our point of view are that the trainer must be an excellent communicator of basic information. ie. when a horse is trialling, entered for public trial/race, acceptances and discussion of jockey engagements, the trainer must have a realistic approach both at home and at the races.
It is very hard, in our particular situation, to work with over enthusiastic trainers who want to over hype the horse. We prefer to let the horses do the talking.
Giving owners an exaggerated view of the horse's ability is not very helpful because if the animal does not live up to the hype, someone, usually us, will have to explain why. We prefer our trainers to remain fairly rational after winning races, most owners want to believe it if the trainer says he is "setting" the horse for the Melbourne Cup or whatever.
A good winning strike rate is essential as is the ability to sum up a horse and its possible future fairly quickly. Good judgment of what a horse should do (given reasonable luck) on raceday, is also necessary.
Greg Eurell - Cadet Lodge
Greg was born in Sydney in 1960; he grew up around horses and started show jumping when he was 15 years old. He was sent to America at 16 with the Equestrian Federation team and went on to be one of the leading show jumping riders in Australia. In 1979 Greg travelled to Europe to compete and was very successful culminating in his selection aged only 20 to compete at the Olympics in 1980 but due to the Moscow Games being boycotted by Australia he did not attend. He kept at it and was selected and competed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
With horses in his blood Greg started breaking and pre-training horses for many well known people in the racing industry and took out his trainers licence in 1987.
Over the years the business of Greg Eurell Thoroughbred Training has expanded and there are currently over 160 horses on his books. He has around 40 in full training at any one time and another 45 at his pre-training and breaking in farm.
Greg has consistently finished among the leading trainers in Victoria over the past ten years. He has trained many Black Type winners including Gr 1 stars Apache Cat and Pinker Pinker. Most of Greg’s success has come with horses with very modest price tags.
"Barbara Joseph is a trainer I've admired tremendously and one of my favourite racing people. The 'Baroness of Bombala' as I tagged her some years ago has established herself as a trainer of sound judgement and wonderful horse sense. Whether she's racing at Canberra, Bega, Sydney or Melbourne her horses always look the part and perform accordingly. Barbara's expertise as a trainer is exceeded only by her friendly disposition and willingness to make herself available for friends, owners and media. I'm certain her Doncaster win with Merimbula Bay won't be her last Group One triumph!."
John Tapp - former racecaller and SKY Channel host
Allan Denham was born into racing.
His late father Jack Denham was a leading trainer in Sydney when Allan was growing up, often runner up in the Sydney Trainers Premiership (NINE times) before winning the Premiership two years running in the 1990’s.
Allan had a stellar career as an apprentice jockey – leading apprentice on several occasions. One of the horses he remembers most fondly is the great sprinter/miler PURPLE PATCH.
From the time he hung up his saddle he was foreman for his father at Rosehill, taking out his own licence and training from adjoining premises to his father in 1990.
During the 1980’s Allan had the integral role of traveling foreman for his father Jack and retained that role until his father’s death late in 2009. Allan was solely responsible for the interstate forays of the great MIGHT AND POWER as well as for FILANTE, IGLESIA, YIPPYIO (whose training he took over completely), SHOVHOG, KING IVOR, TRISCAY, JOANNE etc.
In his own name Allan has been responsible for some amazing training performance – he turned HEAVNLY GLOW from a country performer to a multiple GROUP ONE winner. Early in his career he nurtured the smart types GHOST STORY (Tramway H, Stan Fox S. etc) and the bonny mare BAMBOLA.
In recent times he has won many major sprints with SPARK OF LIFE, multiple stakes races with the talented but injury plagued EREMEIN, and guided COLLATE through a good career.
Allan is top class trainer, super well organized, a great judge of a horse and ultra honest. He is a trainer who will never waste your time and money on a horse that is not going to make the grade.
In 1994, Wendy began training with a couple of picnic horses and in her first year scored six wins and was named "Picnic Trainer of the Year". Wendy got her full permit to train in 1996 and has gone on from strength to strength, considered today a premier top class trainer.
Wendy built up her stable where today she likes to have no more than 26 horses in work at any one time, maintaining a hands on approach. She is an experienced Group One trainer and received an award for her achievements in racing with the Wakefiled Club, Lady of Racing Award in 1997.
Her personal career highlights include group one winner Bon Hoffa and Tango's Amigo, with both horses bringing her stable success.
A progressive trainer, considered an emerging force, Wendy Kelly continues to achieve and succeed in her chosen path.
Former jockey turned trainer, Ciaron Maher is now forging a reputation as one of the Australia’s premier jumps trainers, but also has a canny knack of getting the best out of his flat racing horses, which was evident in the win of Tears I Cry in the 2007 G1 Emirates Stakes.
Leon Macdonald has been training full time for just on 25 years and from humble beginnings with lowly bred horses has built up an imposing record.
From an owners perspective Leon is just about the perfect trainer. He can get your horse up and running efficiently, without wasting any unnecessary time or money and is not reliant on his veterinary surgeon for help. He is available to answer your queries/discuss any concerns, keeps his owners VERY WELL informed and is happy to consult rather than just make decisions on your behalf.
Leon's horses are remarkable for their consistency and for the longevity of their careers.
Right from his earliest days as a trainer his horses had imposing records – the first filly he brought to Melbourne SCARLET RHYTHM was second to Rose Of Kingston in the VRC Bloodhorse Breeders Plate G2; she was still winning as a 4YO. Early in the piece TAMINOR and FRENCH COTTON were both class youngsters and the stable has never been without some above average gallopers since.
OUR BRIGHT HALO and FOLLOW THE RIDE were followed by those class acts UMRUM (two G1 VATC Toorak Hcps) who raced successfully for seven consecutive seasons and GOLD GURU (his wins included G1 VRC Australian Gns, G1 STC Ranvet S., G1 AJC Australian Derby, G2 MVRC Aami Vase, G2 VATC Aami Classic, etc).
In recent seasons his feature race winners include Regal REBEL RAIDER (VRC Derby), NADEN, GREAT GLEN, DEBBEN, REGAL KISS, MAKE A SCENE (Ballarat Cup), EAGLE RHYTHM (Cranbourne and Bairsndale Cups, KATTAVIA (Cranbourne Cup), SHAYE SPICE (Moonee Valley Horse Of The Year 2002 –03), LIL LO LILL, HYDROMETER (2nd VRC Derby), DANE BELLTAR (2nd G1 VRC Oaks), and of course in recent times group glory with the bonny filly DILLY DALLY winner of the $1 million AJC T J Smith Stakes.
2YO's to 10YO's, sprinters or stayers Leon has success with them all.
When Barry Baldwin quit a career as a jockey and started training horses in western Queensland, he had three goals - to win a Brisbane trainers' premiership, a Stradbroke Handicap and to train a Melbourne Cup runner. Tick off the first two - Baldwin has twice won the Brisbane trainers' premiership and filly La Montagna gave him the 2006 AAMI Stradbroke at Eagle Farm. But cross off the third goal. "I haven't even had a runner good enough to nominate so that one might have passed me by," Baldwin says.
In the 40 years since he gave up riding, Baldwin has forged a reputation as one of Queensland's most respected trainers. Spend some time with him, and you will understand that his love and knowledge of horses and racing are matched by few.
The racing journey begun as a teenager in Brisbane has moved to Roma, Toowoomba, back to Brisbane and then on to Macau. Baldwin has since settled back in Brisbane, where he has more than 50 horses in work at Eagle Farm.
Barry and his team of dedicated staff put the stable's runners through trackwork sessions six mornings a week. Most of the team return in the afternoon to tend to the large stable. An average week for the Baldwin stable includes three race days.
Cranbourne based trainer Robbie Griffiths now has several Hancox Bloodstock horses in his care.
Robbie was an extremely talented rider who realized early in his riding career that he was going to become too heavy for any longevity in the saddle. He racked up more than 250 winners before becoming stable foreman for Tony Vasil at Caulfield.
Even when riding Robbie always had a plan to become a trainer and travelled extensively between European training centres watching top trainers at work and riding work/race riding for all the top Victorian trainers of the time.
In 1991, he set up his home and stables on an attractive and workable 7 acre property at Cranbourne. The property boasts exceptional facilities and is close to Cranbourne Training Centre where his horses do most of their fast work.
Success was instant for this innovative “perfectionist” horse trainer and he has been a TOP TEN trainer in Victoria for some years and SUPER VOBIS TRAINER OF THE YEAR for the last two years.
Some of his top performers include grand campaigner DANDY KID, COCINERO, SOLAR ANTIQUITY, CANCANELLE, AVIENUS, DANZYLUM, BIG PAT etc.
Robbie has all the things we look for in a horse trainer – he is honest, a great communicator and has excellent staff.