John Tapp Racing

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Best Episodes of John Tapp Racing

Mark All
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At last we catch up with one of the superstars of the Australian riding ranks. We launch straight into Glen’s memories of the freakish mare Makybe Diva who gave him three consecutive Melbourne Cup victories. He still gets goosebumps when he talks about the amazing staying mare. He talks of the 1998 Melbourne Cup when he hit the front on Champagne and thought he was home. Glen couldn’t believe it when Jezabeel fought back to win. The great jockey takes us back to childhood days at Beaudesert and his obsession with horses from an early age. He adored his years at Pony Club. Glen recalls the defining moment at Gympie races when he knew he wanted to be a jockey. He looks back on his two rewarding apprenticeships- the first with Terry Chinner at Gympie and the second with Kaye Tinsley on the Gold Coast. Glen talks about his fiery nature in those early years and the careless riding that brought him many suspensions. He looks back on the fateful day he met his future wife Sloane, the mother of his two children. Glen talks of the shock he received when the Australian Tax Office swooped at the completion of his apprenticeship. He was forced to sell a precious keepsake in order to pay the rent. Glen tells the story of the Ipswich treble that put he and Sloane back in the black. This was the day he realised he could handle pressure better than most.   The jockey talks of son Tayte and daughter Carter who grew up in Melbourne, and have chosen to make their homes there. He pays tribute to the NSW trainer who was instrumental in getting him south of the border. He remembers the morning he asked Tommy Smith if he could ride some work for Tulloch Lodge. Glen vividly recalls his maiden Gr 1 win on the enigmatic Telesto, and several of his subsequent career highlights. There have been so many it’s hard to know where to start. The champion jockey talks of the days when he had to wear contact lenses in races, and spectacles when he went out to dinner. Bossy takes us back to the lowest point of his long career- the Macau fall that went within an ace of leaving him quadriplegic. His own diagnosis and the steps he took immediately after the fall, probably prevented total disaster. Of all the great trainers with whom Glen has been associated, there’s one who left a lasting impression on the great jockey. This is almost certainly the longest podcast we’ve ever presented. When you talk to an achiever like Glen Boss, time passes quickly.
Great to catch up with a young horseman who has already made his mark as a trainer and driver at the top level. Brad begins by pointing out the many advantages of being based at Goulburn. He reflects on the tutelage he received from his late grandfather Tom Hewitt, one of the most respected horsemen of his generation. Brad talks of the influence Tom had on his sons- David, Bernie and Mark, all highly successful in their own right. He says his Aunt Jenna, the only girl in the Hewitt family wasn’t allowed to drive in races. The young horseman talks of the trotting genes to be found on the maternal side of his family. Brad says his brothers have also chosen harness racing as their preferred livelihood- Sam as a trainer and breaker, Scott as a trainer and farrier. Sister Jess also gets a mention. The thirty year old looks back on the thrill of his first winning drive and his handful of winners at historic Harold Park.   Brad pays tribute to the special horses who’ve helped to launch his career. He speaks with great reverence of his all time favourite Spare Me Days.   He speaks of his great friendship with Canberra Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker, an avid harness racing fan. For the trots punters Brad highlights a couple of promising young horses in his stable. He talks of his only Gr 1 winning drive to date. It was Rockin’ Marty in a Breeders Challenge Final. The horse was trained by his father David. Brad says his partner Milly had no interest in horses when they met but quickly adapted. He and Milly are the proud parents of Ruby who’s almost two and William who arrived only a few weeks ago.
Great to catch up with John Morrisey, one of the most astute trainers of his generation. John talks about the move from Canberra to the Gold Coast which came as a surprise to many. The former trainer talks of his time at the well known Capricorn Park training property near Yass. John takes us back to his childhood on the Northern Rivers and his father’s Ramornie Hcp win with Flecked Marble. He looks back on the thrill of his own Ramornie win many years later. John remembers that Ramornie winner, the talented Kidlat. Morrisey pays tribute to his Gr 1 winners Camarena, Lachlan River and Rockdale with a few good stories along the way. John fondly remembers talented galloper Here’s The Prince who landed a well orchestrated plunge for the stable in the 1995 Villiers. He acknowledges the efforts of Here’s The Point, Digger Stakas, Miss Comanche and Kareden- all great money spinners for the stable. John recounts the story of the day Peter Pascoe arrived with four horses on his truck and told the trainer to see what he could do with them. Two of those horses won 23 races between them. He talks about the immense loyalty he’s had from owners over the years, and talks about his reputation for timing a horse’s preparation to the minute. John is obviously disillusioned about the 9 months disqualification he copped when one of his horses returned a positive result to a cobalt test. His frustration hasn’t subsided. The retired trainer talks about the transition of son Scott into the number one spot. John pays tribute to Kay, his wife of 50 years. They celebrated recently.
It’s unlikely there’s a busier jockey in Australia currently than Hunter Valley based Mikayla Weir. As this podcast is posted Mikayla has had 32 race rides on 8 different race tracks in 10 days. Just for practice she rode in 11 barrier trials at Scone last Wednesday.  In an interview recorded on Good Friday she takes us through that horrendous schedule. The young jockey logs enormous mileage to honour commitments in the North Eastern corner of the state. She explains how she comes to terms with the travelling. Mikayla takes us back to early days on the South Coast and her introduction to rodeo. She explains the fundamentals of some of her favourite rodeo pursuits. Mikayla recalls the fateful day at a Cooma rodeo when she met her partner, professional rodeo star Jock Bone-Langdon. The 27 year old looks back on her first racing stable job with Kembla trainer Kerry Parker. It was a year before Kerry allowed her to ride trackwork. She was “hooked” from the first moment. Mikayla reflects on her successful application for an apprenticeship with Hunter Valley trainer Todd Howlett- an apprenticeship which only recently concluded. The hard working jockey remembers her first race ride and the magical moment of her initial win. Mikayla acknowledges some of the nice horses who’ve helped to lift her profile in recent times. She makes special mention of her role model Kathy O’Hara, and expresses her gratitude to the trainers who’ve given her regular support. The popular jockey talks of the support she receives from partner Jock who gives her the latitude to pursue her chosen career. Mikayla outlines the improvements she and Jock have made to their Jerry’s Plains property. She hints at a future as a trainer.
I’ve had several requests over a period of time to organise a podcast with former high profile bookie Bruce McHugh. We actually did just that in August of 2019, but in those early days of the website many missed it. In the 1980’s this was the time of year when Bruce and Kerry Packer would go toe to toe at the big Randwick carnival. It’s an appropriate time to repost that podcast. Bruce talks of his current interest in racing, and the thoroughbred stallion he stands commercially- the fashionably bred Arlington. He shares memories of his grandfather Jim who arrived in Australia as a state ward in the late 19th century. Jim McHugh rode an Epsom winner. Bruce remembers him clearly. Bruce shares wonderful memories of his late father Bill who died in 1999. He remembers his father’s tenuous start as a bookmaker at bush meetings and his elevation to the famous Randwick Flat Enclosure.  He admits he was a born gambler, the prime prerequisite for a future bookie. Bruce talks fondly of his maternal grandmother Hilda who dabbled in a little bit of bookmaking outside the  boundaries of the law. He recalls a couple of early business enterprises and his low key start as a bookmaker.   Bruce remembers his admission to the Randwick Flat and his gradual transition to the St Leger interstate ring. He was promoted to the main interstate ring with the death of an older bookie. He remembers his main client of the era.   He recalls a chance meeting with Kerry Packer in the Rosehill interstate ring. The bookie next door refused a bet from the media magnate. Bruce accommodated him, and an amazing association began. The Packer segment in this podcast is wonderful memorabilia. Bruce takes us through some high pressure afternoons with one of the world’s biggest punters. McHugh couldn’t be more frank. Bruce looks back on the day Packer had a gigantic bet on Myocard in the Sydney Cup only to be beaten by a horse he half owned.  He looks back on 18 rewarding years on the Sydney Turf Club Board, three of those as Chairman. He talks of the AJC/STC merger. Bruce talks about the massively expensive high court challenge he mounted against a ban on the use of artificial insemination in the thoroughbred industry. Many theories have been advanced about Bruce’s sudden departure from the bookmaking ranks. He reveals why it was time to go. This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane with a man who was a major player in the days when the betting ring had as much theatre as the racetrack itself.
Great to catch up with one of Sydney’s most popular jockeys. Tim talks of his recent Coolmore Classic win on Queensland mare Krone- his 16th Gr 1 success. Tim looks at his tremendous record with fillies and mares. He says he really hadn’t thought about it too much. The jockey looks back on his country upbringing and his first apprenticeship to Peter Clancy in the Riverina. Tim talks about the transfer of his indentures to John O’Shea at Randwick with whom he spent the last 18 months of his apprenticeship. He won the Sydney junior premiership in that season. The jockey vividly recalls the circumstances that led to his first Gr 1 win. Tim fondly remembers the wonderful mare Hot Danish who had to be put down in 2011 when she failed to respond to treatment for a massive hind leg infection. He remembers the exciting racing style of the daughter of Nothin’ Leica Dane. He reflects on his favourite Gr 1 win- the 2011 Doncaster Mile on the noted mudlark Sacred Choice. Following the passing of Hot Danish the jockey elected to take up a Hong Kong contract. He talks of two successful seasons in the mecca of great jockeys. Tim remembers Avoid Lightning, the mare who regenerated his career in Sydney. He looks back on his first trip to Perth and the Gr 1 winner he rode for the excitable trainer Gary Moore. Clarky talks of his two wins in the Gr 1 Flight Stakes. The fillies in question are among his all time favourites. He elaborates on his reputation as a skilled rider of front runners. He mentions Samadoubt who led throughout to give him two Group victories at Randwick. The popular jockey talks about family life with wife Jade and daughter Elly. Jade is a sister to talented jockey Josh Parr and daughter of former successful rider Steven Parr.  Tim closes with mention of his love for the NSW Central Coast.
A timely podcast with John Messara as the Inglis Easter Sale approaches. John expresses his sadness that this sale will see the auctioning of the last yearlings by his iconic stallion Redoute’s Choice. John talks of three year old filly Miravalle whose recent success in the Kembla Classic gave Redoute’s Choice his 178th stakes winner. He talks of Arrowfield’s presence at the Inglis Easter Sale, and his long term association with the famous auction house. John looks back on the reasons he identified Redoute’s Choice as the horse to replace his own famous sire Danehill. The founder of Arrowfield profiles the sons of Redoute’s Choice who’ve followed in his footsteps at the famous stud. The story of John’s acquisition of the legendary Danehill is a great yarn. Nobody tells it better than John himself. John Messara’s life has been a fascinating journey. He takes us back to his childhood in Egypt and his arrival in Australia at age 11. The Arrowfield Principal looks back on University days and his acquisition of a Bachelor Of Commerce Degree. That degree led him to his first job with Edwin V Nixon & Partners Chartered Accountants. His next job was with stockbroking firm Ralph King and Yuill. John’s ability to speak French saw his new employer send him on an important overseas mission. John reflects on the founding of his own stockbroking company and his long association with the Stock Exchange. The famous breeder looks back on his low key entry into the breeding and racing world. He pays tribute to some of his early equine favourites. He looks back on important administrative roles with Racing NSW and the Australian Racing Board and the exciting developments that took place during those years. John reflects on the challenging task he was asked to undertake by the NZ Government. Many of the recommendations he put forward for the advancement of the NZ racing industry have been adopted. He pays tribute to Kristine, his wife of 48 years and the mother of his four children Paul, Michael, Louise and Susanne. With the rain tumbling down in Sydney, John had ample time to spend with us on the podcast. His reflections make for great listening.
I first interviewed Bev Buckingham at her Latrobe home in Tasmania during her rehabilitation from injuries received in the Hobart race fall that ended her career in 1998.  I saw her again on three occasions over the next few years, but lost touch thereafter. When I spotted a photo of Bev on Twitter recently I launched a successful search for her phone number and thankfully she agreed to this podcast. The trailblazing jockey explains how that photo materialised. Right off the top I should apologise for some audio glitches over which we had little control. I’m sure you’ll bear with us. She talks of her family’s move to regional Victoria following her initial rehabilitation, and her brief foray into horse training.  Bev reflects on our visit to the Benalla property where she actually rode a Clydesdale mare for the Sky cameras. It was an emotional moment for us all. She confesses to flirting with danger some time later when she tried to ride a thoroughbred yearling with disastrous results. Beverly takes us back to her family’s arrival from England when she was just two years old. Her father was lured to Australia by the government’s call for skilled tradesmen. Their new life began in WA. The former ace jockey remembers her very first time on a horse. She looks back on the Buckingham family’s move to Tasmania and the friend who talked her father Ted into becoming a horse trainer.   Then it’s fast forward to 1980 when young Bev made her debut as an apprentice jockey in an era of terrible prejudice against female riders.She talks of early winners and the remarkable feat of winning the Tasmanian jockeys premiership in only her second season of riding. She became the first female in the world to win a state title.   Beverly remembers the exciting adventure when she was flown to Sydney by the Nine Network to appear live on Mike Walsh’s Midday Show. She recalls being terrified. The record breaking jockey talks of her reckless weight reducing measures, and the fateful day when she blacked out while driving to a race meeting. She admits she was lucky to escape with her life. Bev looks back on favourite horses and some of the landmark occasions in her spectacular career. She looks back on a stint in Melbourne when her father was invited to take up the option on stables at Ballarat racecourse. She couldn’t believe the opposition to female jockeys in Victoria. Bev talks of the invitation she got to appear on the popular Bert Newton TV show. She broke new ground by asking the legendary presenter to give her a race ride on one of his own horses. It’s a great yarn! The groundbreaking jockey looks back on a dream trip to Japan where she rode a couple of winners and came home with some serious money. The gutsy former jockey was happy to relate the story of the 1998 fall which ended her brilliant career. She takes us through the accident and the immediate aftermath. Bev takes us through the weeks of pain, despair, frustration, emotional upheaval and the terrible uncertainty of the future. She reveals the insensitive assessment of one particular Doctor. She talks of her nine years living in Sydney with daughter Tara, the absolute light of her life. Throughout her life in and out of racing Beverly Buckingham has called a spade a spade. Her trademark honesty is evident all the way through this podcast. 
Jon Grisedale tried to quit the saddle when he suffered a complicated leg break at Kembla Grange in 2013. He actually announced his retirement but couldn’t resist the urge to start riding trackwork again.  Eight years down the track he’s enjoying his job more than ever. He begins by acknowledging the long priced winner he rode on the Gold Coast on Saturday for veteran trainer Lennie Wheeler. Jon explains the reason he and his wife Donna moved from Kembla to Coffs Harbour in 2018.  He talks of the wonderful facilities available to trainers at the Coffs racecourse and the nearby beach. The evergreen jockey talks of Donna’s ten year stint with the legendary Jack Denham. She credits her training career to the lessons learned in that decade. Jon talks of his passion for riding trackwork. Six mornings a week he handles 15 or 16 horses. One day recently he went beyond that number. The jockey talks of his English roots and his original apprenticeship to Bede Horan- the man who moulded his career.  Jon looks back on the heady days when he became number three rider for the giant Nebo Lodge operation and the champion trainer Brian Mayfield-Smith. He pays tribute to the best horse he rode during his time with Nebo Lodge. Grisedale reflects on his association with the young NZ trainer who set up shop at Rosehill in 2006. He rode a great deal of trackwork for Chris Waller and was on several of his early winners. Jon talks of the resurgence of older jockeys in recent years. He’s proud to be one of them. This is a stroll down memory lane with a highly respected jockey.
Now in her final season as an apprentice 27 year old Jessica is totally focused on maintaining her current lead over Todd Pannell on the SA premiership ladder. She transferred from Melbourne to Adelaide in the hope she might pick up a few more rides. She has to pinch herself to realise she’s Adelaide’s top jockey halfway through the season. Jess says she’d received a few offers from Michael Hickmott to move to Murray Bridge before she finally bit the bullet.  The young jockey reflects on her childhood at Mt Waverley in Melbourne and her formative years at Monash and Nunawading pony clubs. Jess looks back on her first job with trainer Danny O’Brien and subsequent stints with Mick Kent and Mick Price. She says it was Mick Price who encouraged her to become a jockey. She talks about her inauspicious debut, her first win at Avoca and her first metro win. The latter happened in the most unlikely place. Jess talks of later apprenticeships with Brett Cavanough and the O’Sullivans at Stawell. She reluctantly recalls some nasty injuries. The jockey elaborates on her sixth and final stable association with John and Chris Meagher at Mornington. She speaks affectionately of her short but successful stay in Singapore at the end of the 2018/2019 season. Jess talks of the high standard of riding in South Australia and the lucky break she got on her first day of riding in the state. She acknowledges the best horses she’s ridden in SA and the trainers who’ve given her strong support. She’s a charming girl and it shows.
Great to catch up with Bart Sinclair OAM who retired from his role as Racing Editor of the Brisbane Courier Mail in 2012, after four decades of trusted racing journalism. The Racing Queensland Hall of Fame Inductee begins by outlining his current role with the Brisbane Racing Club. Bart pays tribute to his father and namesake Bart Sinclair Snr who had great success as a jockey and trainer. Young Bart never saw his father ride, but learned of his talents from old time racing men as he was growing up. He talks of his Dad’s association with Berborough. Bart Snr thought he had the mount on the occasion of Bernborough’s Sydney debut, but was doomed to disappointment. Bart remembers a betting coup his father orchestrated in Brisbane with an unsound horse called Bindana. Bart Snr. patched up another unsound horse called Mullala to win the 1963 Stradbroke. Bart Jnr reflects on his father’s Derby win with Minto Crag and the many races he won with Oxford King- a horse he bought for 300 guineas. The eminent journalist reflects on his childhood around the stables and his friendship with another budding jockey who remains a great friend to this day. Bart talks of his many visits to Sydney with his Dad, and his passion for the famous Doncaster Hcp. One particular Doncaster is etched in his memory. He remembers the scholarship win which introduced him to the man destined to become his mentor, and a great influence on his life. Bart looks back on his early introduction to radio and television and the special people from whom he learned the business. He talks of his lifetime affinity with the suburb of Ascot and nearby Eagle Farm racecourse. He and Judy moved away for a short time, but quickly returned. Bart pays tribute to Judy and his two daughters. The seventy year old looks back on the infamous Fine Cotton scandal, and the “caffeine case” which proved an embarrassment to Queensland racing chiefs. Bart reflects on the remarkable Rough Habit- the New Zealand horse Queenslanders took into their hearts. He talks of his involvement with Brisbane’s popular Bernborough Club which brings racing men together several times a year, and contributes thousands of dollars to charity. It’s a good chat with Bart Sinclair OAM.
Danny’s family and friends were surprised in 2017 when the popular jockey quit the saddle with 2000 wins under his belt. They were even more surprised recently when he announced a comeback. He talks of his reasons for returning to the saddle, and reviews his first day back at Kranji on Saturday. He explains that he’s been riding trackwork and in barrier trials during his four year hiatus, enabling him to keep his weight in check. Dan talks about some of the great riding talent he’ll be facing every week at Kranji. The 18 time Gr 1 winner recalls his very first win at Corowa in 1993 and looks back on apprenticeships with Peter Maher at Wodonga and Lee Freedman at Flemington. He acknowledges the support of Freedman’s neighbour David Hayes. Dan has never forgotten the day he was contacted by Graeme Begg who offered him two rides at Rosehill. Both horses won, and Danny finished up completing his apprenticeship with the Randwick trainer. The jockey talks about his experiment with the European riding style, and the thrill of winning his first Gr 1. Dan pays tribute to his all time favourite horse, the remarkable Grand Armee. He won 6 Gr 1’s on the versatile galloper. He reviews a sequence of major wins in Australia and Singapore. Danny’s wife Ash is of Malaysian origin, and the couple are the proud parents of a son and two daughters. He has a 17 year old son from his first marriage to Karen, and Baxter will be watching his comeback performances closely. The 45 year old talks of his passion for harness racing. It’s the thing he’s missed most of all since going to Singapore.
Great to talk to Tony Erhart who could be the only 73 year old in Australia who’s still riding regular trackwork on a metropolitan racecourse. He says he’s never enjoyed it more. He talks of his unexpected heart bypass surgery in 2014. He didn’t see it coming! A year after his major surgery, Tony went close to becoming the oldest winning rider on a Queensland metropolitan track  when he was beaten narrowly on Top Tone at Doomben.  Tony retired from race riding to become chief work rider for his wife Lorraine. He had barely started his new role when a freak accident left him with a broken femur. He says he intended to stay out of the saddle but last October it got the better of him. Tony talks of childhood days at Gympie, his happy times at pony club, and the disappointment he experienced the first time he tried for an apprenticeship. He approached another trainer and got the job. He has never forgotten his debut at a defunct Gold Coast racecourse. Nor has he forgotten the buzz of riding his first winner out of town and his first on a metropolitan track. Tony still can’t believe he was able to win a Brisbane jockey’s premiership as an apprentice. He pays tribute to a couple of his early major winners. He reflects on his association with Tommy Smith who used his services frequently at the Brisbane winter carnival in the 60’s and 70’s. Tony talks about his love of two year olds. He had a magic touch with the “babies” and won a string of major Brisbane juvenile races. The veteran jockey acknowledges the talents of several riders of his era. Lorraine Erhart joins the conversation to pay tribute to Tony’s great contribution to her Eagle Farm training operation. She looks back on a little piece of history she shared with Bernadette Cooper. It’s believed Lorraine and Bernie were the first successful female jockey/trainer combination to win on a Queensland track. Lorraine is the founder and manager of a wonderful fundraising operation called Stilettos and Saddles. She explains that the concept was designed to brighten the lives of racing people who’ve fallen on hard times. You’ll enjoy our catch up with the Erharts.
Great to catch up with one of Australian racing’s most respected figures. Sandy speaks to us from Gunnong- Jugrawah, the family property near Gundagai where all of the Tait champions first saw the light of day. Please note this interview was recorded on Sunday Feb 7th prior to Cherry Tortoni racing in the C.S.Hayes at Flemington in which he finished fourth. Sandy begins by summarising the career thus far of the promising Cherry Tortoni, the most recent metropolitan winner to carry the famous red and white silks. He takes us back to a sprinter called Stirrup Cup who wasn’t an elite performer but a genuine little sprinter whose flashy markings made him a crowd favourite in the 1950’s. Sandy shares his memories of Fil Allotta, the talented Randwick trainer who prepared horses owned by his parents for almost four decades. The popular owner talks of Dark Jewel’s lacklustre racing career. Nobody in the family expected her to reach such dizzy heights as a broodmare. Sandy acknowledges all of Dark Jewel’s winning foals with special emphasis on elite performers Cabochon and Baguette. Daisy Tait who died in the early 90’s became very well known for her imaginative naming of family horses. Sandy remembers her efforts in  the pre Google era. He pays tribute to Neville Begg who became the family trainer when Fil Allotta retired in the early 80’s.   Sandy talks of one of his favourites, the brilliant mare Spinning Hill- yet another descendant of Dark Jewel.   We leave racehorses briefly to talk of Sandy’s achievements on the polo field.   He speaks with great warmth of the horse who gave him and sister Jill the ride of a lifetime. He still can’t believe Tie The Knot won 21 races for $6.2 million in prize money. Those wins included thirteen at Gr 1 level.  Sandy pays the most heartfelt of tributes to Tie the Knot’s trainer Guy Walter. The dedicated racing man talks of his sister Jill and sons Ollie and James. Ollie and his wife Amber run the beautifully appointed Twin Hills Stud near Cootamundra. They are emerging as very serious commercial breeders. James runs the property for his father, and doubles as Sky Racing’s Southern Districts race caller. Sandy and jill enjoy racing a few horses in the Riverina. Sandy acknowledges the efforts of his local trainer Tim Donnelly.
Great to catch up with a man who’s been a household name in the Queensland training ranks. He begins by dismissing the popular belief that he’s close to retirement. Rex talks of his love for the Darling Downs and the reasons he’s never wanted to train elsewhere. He looks back on a rural childhood and his three earliest pursuits- dairying, the raising of beef cattle and the harvesting of grain. The veteran trainer talks of his twenty years in a variety of roles at Queensland’s well known Eureka Stud owned by Col McAlpine. Rex decided to go training when Col’s son Scott took over from his father. Rex pays tribute to two special horses who got him away to a flying start as a trainer in his own right. He recalls his association with the legendary Jim Atkins. He remembers a trip to Sydney and some memorable conversations with legendary trainer Neville Begg. Rex looks back on two Weetwood Hcp wins and four Toowoomba Cups. He pays tribute to several of his all time favourite horses including Star Shiraz who provided his first Gr 1 win. The trainer acknowledges the talents of some of his all time favourite jockeys. Rex nominates a couple of “profit pointers” from his fourteen horse team. Great to swap a few racing yarns with a legend of Queensland racing
Hard to believe it’s coming up 13 years since Greg Childs brought down the curtain on a career that brought him a special place among the top riders of his generation. He begins by outlining his current role as a manufacturer and distributor of equine safety vests. Greg takes us back to his apprenticeship at Hawera on the North Island, and pays tribute to the first top horse he got to ride. He also makes mention of another “gun” apprentice who was rising rapidly through the ranks. He talks of his first trip overseas at the invitation of an American friend. He rode 7 winners in a short time and competed on some iconic race tracks. Greg recalls his very first trip to Melbourne with trainers Ray Verner and Peter Hurdle. He ran third in the 1990 Melbourne Cup which really whetted his appetite for Australian racing. The former champion jockey reminisces about the horses and horsemen who got him started in a new country. It was a three months trial period. He never returned to NZ. Greg talks of a Hong Kong win on the top mare Romanee Conti, and his first Melbourne premiership win- a performance that earned him a special accolade. He looks back on Group 1 wins on the talented South Aussie Gold Guru and an exciting straight six win on Final Card to give young Anthony Cummings his first success at the elite level. Admirers of a good horse will hang on every word as Greg remembers his fantastic journey with Sunline, and his unbeaten winning streak on Northerly. He talks of his twin children Tayla and Jordan who’ve made flying starts to their riding careers. Greg gives us an insight into those special occasions when he offers advice to the kids.
Great to catch up with 83 year old Les Bridge who has maintained an amazing winning strike rate throughout his long career. Les found an unattended TV monitor to watch the running of the TAB Everest by himself. He talks of the circumstances that brought Classique Legend into his stable and the short but spectacular racing career of the horse he rates the best he’s ever trained. Les says he knew he’d be losing the horse after The Everest but will now concentrate on other horses in his stable owned by Bon Ho. The veteran horseman talks of his family’s friendship with the legendary broadcaster Ken Howard who died in 1976. He remembers spending many days in Ken’s  broadcast box in the days before commentators were allowed on course. Les goes back to his days as an apprentice jockey. He rode a few winners but didn’t rate himself at all as a race rider. He does recall two well known horses he got to ride. He talks of the flying start he made as a professional trainer. At first he seemed to have a stableful of stayers but that all changed when Sir Dapper came along. Les reflects on the deeds of the wonderful Sir Dapper who won 13 from only 18 starts. He also gave the trainer his first Gr 1 victory. He was sorry to see the son of Vain retire to stud very early. Les got back to training stayers when Kensei came out of the blue. Carefully managed and beautifully placed the son of Blarney Kiss peaked on the day to win the 1987 Melbourne Cup with Larry Olsen up. Les shares his memories of a great journey with Kensei. He remembers a lightly framed, plain looking little horse called Drawn who belied his looks to win three Gr 1’s. Many will be surprised to learn that Hot Danish is the trainer’s all time favourite horse. Les gives his reasons. Les has used the services of several top class jockeys over the years. He pays tribute to some of them. He talks of the tragic loss of his wife Peggy six years ago. The great horseman speaks of his health scare last year when hospitalised with gangrenous appendix. This is one for those racing fans who’ve been around for a while.
There was plenty of excitement at the Inglis Classic sale a few years ago, when a new vendor sold a sale topping grey colt by Not A Single Doubt. That colt has since won 6 races including last year’s TAB Everest. That seller Linda Monds is much better known today. Linda talks of the apprehension she and husband Laurence felt when they took on the well established breeders. She talks of her original purchase of broodmares which included Pinocchio, the grey mare destined to become Classique Legend’s dam. Linda talks of Classique Legend’s half brother Aethero who went to a Hong Kong buyer as a yearling. He’s already a Gr 2 winner. She also sings the praises of another half brother, the unraced Fairy Legend who’s in the care of John and Gary Moore. She talks of her involvement in the Behemoth story. The giant gelding was born and reared at Linda’s Tyreel Stud before being sold as a weanling. Linda talks of her husband Laurence who plays a major role in the day to day running of Tyreel Stud in the Hawkesbury Valley. Sons Ben and Blake work away from the farm, but help out when needed. She talks of the all night vigils during the foaling season and pays tribute to the dedicated Tyreel team. Linda talks of her association with Inglis and her upcoming draft at the Classic Sale 7-9 February.
Great to catch up with a trailblazer of the early Sydney female training ranks. Helen talks about her move from Warwick Farm to the Gold Coast in 1997- a decision she has never regretted. She talks of the loyal new owners who supported the stable when she arrived in Queensland, and three new acquisitions from the Gold Coast Sale. The talented horsewoman highlights two outstanding horses she’s had the pleasure to train from her Gold Coast stables. Helen takes us back to her childhood days at Warialda (NSW) and her earliest introduction to horses. She pays tribute to parents Bob and Rosalie who loved horses as much as she did. She tells the story of the wonderful Xmas day when she and her brother got the surprise of their lives. Helen talks of Uni days at Armidale and her subsequent experience as an Infants School teacher- she loved every minute of her work at some remote country schools. The trainer looks back on a transfer to Sydney and her second job as a trackwork rider for Tommy Smith. Helen’s love of the show horse led her to Moliere, a former racehorse who went on to become a legend on the circuit. How she loved that horse! She reflects on her snap decision to become a trainer. She put one of her show horses into training to win her first race at Wyong. Helen talks of her first city winner, and the T.J Smith “cast-off” Haida Prince. She won the Gr 2 Todman trial with the former rogue. The trainer pays tribute to her favourite horses with special mention of Magnolia Hall. This was the horse to provide her supreme racing thrill when he finished third in a Melbourne Cup. Helen acknowledges the talents of two star stable apprentices John Powell and Shane Edmonds. She gives much of the credit for her success to husband John Page, a former top trainer in the tough Sydney market. John won hundreds of races, but is best remembered for his wizardry with the unsound triple Derby winner Royal Sovereign.  
Great to catch up with 78 year old Leon Fox now in retirement in his hometown of Inverell. Leon trained horses for 20 years following a stellar riding career which saw him dubbed the “George Moore of the bush”. Leon begins by paying tribute to his father Les Fox to whom he was apprenticed. He talks of his ordinary effort on the occasion of his first race ride, and the thrill of his first win in a little border town called Texas. He talks of a very successful apprenticeship and the approaches he got from Sydney trainers who were keen to use his allowance. Leon was overawed to rub shoulders with legends like Ted McMenamin, Darby Munro and Jim Pike. The former ace jockey reflects on the day he shared in a precious piece of racing history. Two wins on the same day on the same horse at a Warwick Farm Saturday meeting. Leon remembers the contract he was offered when Hong Kong racing went professional in the early 70’s. He stayed for 8 years.   He has some wonderful tales to tell about his Hong Kong experience, including a bomb scare at Happy Valley.   Leon talks of his association with some legendary jockeys including the man who rode to fame and fortune on the back of Secretariat. Fox talks of his return to Australia and the life of a bush jockey. He reflects on the many highlights of his years on Northern NSW tracks, including the horrific fall in the 1988 Inverell Cup. He stayed on his feet to win that Cup. Leon says he was one of the lucky ones when it comes to injury. He did however miss 27 months at one stage with a complicated leg break. He pays tribute to the two bush jockeys for whom he had special admiration. Leon looks back on one extraordinary sequence of wins he achieved on North Western tracks. Switching to his years as a trainer, he talks affectionately of his favourite horse Tree Lopper. The accomplished horseman makes special mention of sons Alan and Tim, and his devoted wife Jenny. Leon was a bit of a fashion plate during his racing days. It was common to see him turn up at a bush meeting dressed to the nines. He doesn’t deny it! For veteran racing men and for younger fans curious about Australian racing in the 50’s through to the 80’s, this is a must listen podcast.
It’s great to catch up with Tommy Berry who’s currently in second place on both the NSW and metropolitan jockeys premierships. Tom talks about the fierce competition in the Sydney riding ranks. He outlines his very busy trackwork format. Tom talks about his apprenticeship to his father and chief tutor Kevin Berry.  The champion young jockey looks back on a frightening accident which could have turned him off horses forever. He looks back on his inauspicious debut at Hawkesbury, and an exciting maiden win at Newcastle on a mare trained by his father. Tommy reflects on his Magic Millions win on Karuta Queen and the unforgettable thrill of his first Gr 1. He looks back on a thrilling Gr 1 double at Randwick in 2012. The two races were only 45 minutes apart. The twenty nine year old pays tribute to the filly who gave him the first of his two Golden Slipper wins. He wasn’t even sure he’d retain the Slipper ride at one stage. He reminisces about his first Gr 1 for the Waller stable and the injury sustained by his mother Julie only 24 hours earlier. Tommy is heavy hearted as he talks about the loss of his twin brother Nathan who had taken ill during a riding stint in Singapore. He remembers the imported horse who lifted his spirits after the family tragedy. He looks back on his two rides on Winx- a win in the Phar Lap Stakes, and an unlucky fifth in the Vinery stud stakes.   Tom reflects on his amazing association with Chautauqua- 5 Gr 1 wins including the T.J Smith three times. Memories of the third one still give him tingles. He has mixed feelings about his involvement with Hong Kong racing. Some of his short term visits were very successful. His long term association with John Moore had its ups and downs. He did ride a couple of special horses in Hong Kong. Tommy acknowledges Pierata- the horse to regenerate his career following his return from Hong Kong. He was thrilled to get the job done for an old Warwick Farm mate in trainer Greg Hickman. The top jockey pays tribute to his wife Sharnee who was the first to  recognize her husband’s battle with depression in 2019. She made him do something about it. Tommy gives us a run down on life with four young children on his Dural farm. 
It’s now twelve years since Norm Lang put away the harness and hopples for the last time. The game of bowls now commands his full attention. The eighty five year old has vivid memories of his exciting journey with Steel Jaw- the $5000 horse he took from a maiden pace to a NZ Cup in a very short time. He covers the whole Steel Jaw story, and for trots fans it’s riveting listening. Norm takes us back to his days as an Ampol agent at Mittagong, and his introduction to trotting by local trainer George Walton. He remembers his first winning drive at Canowindra and the near accident before he even left the parade yard. The veteran horseman recalls his purchase of a broodmare and the success he had with her two foals. Norm pays tribute to a select group of horses who took him to a prominent spot on the Harold Park trainer’s ladder. He talks about the reputation he enjoyed of being able to keep horses up for long periods of time. Norm quit race driving in the 1991/92 season but continued to train for another 17 years. He explains the reason for that surprise decision. Sounding much younger than his 85 years, Norm Lang reviews a very rewarding career.
Great to catch up with the man who co-founded OTI Racing and Bloodstock in 1999 with high profile sportsman and TV personality Simon O’Donnell. He talks of his early life in Melbourne and the pacer who triggered his fascination with horses. Terry looks back on the creation of his company Pacers Australia which syndicated two horses destined for greatness. The duo won three Miracle Miles and many Gr 1 races between them. Terry talks of his good fortune in being invited to join the ownership syndicate which raced the wonderful galloper Doriemus- winner of 3.5 million dollars.  He takes us back to his time at night school and his own company Henderson Consultants which he later sold to French interests. Terry talks of the origins of the famous OTI colours. The devoted horse lover profiles many of the good horses to carry the OTI colours in recent years. Terry talks of company policy regarding horses purchased overseas. He acknowledges the many trainers employed by OTI in Australia and overseas. Terry pays tribute to Susan, his wife of 51 years and to his children and grandchildren. 
Pat says this may well be his final interview. I doubt that strongly, but either way it’s a tribute to a man who endeared himself to the Sydney racing world for almost 6 decades. He reviews an emotional day at Newcastle on Dec 5th when he saddled his final runner. He talks of the heartfelt tribute paid to him by the ATC at a Randwick meeting the following week. Pat talks about his long time role as a drugs and alcohol consultant for Racing NSW- a role he hopes to continue for a long time to come. The experienced horseman reflects on his initial indentureship to Betty Lane in the tiny township of Geurie, and his time with astute trainer Bernie Byrnes at Randwick. Pat remembers the horses who contributed to his successful apprenticeship with special mention of a grand little horse called Medieval Maestro. He recalls the horror fall at Rosehill which left him with a long list of injuries, and virtually ended his riding career. Pat looks back on six years away from racing when he gained a rigger’s certificate and worked on the Sydney waterfront. Inverell born Webster talks of his entry into the Sydney training ranks and the wonderful horses to shape his new career. He loved all of them, none more than his once in a lifetime horse Happy Clapper. Pat acknowledges the support of owners, with special mention of Gerry Harvey who’s had horses in his stable for many years. He says their very first meeting wasn’t a friendly one. The retiring trainer talks of the biography he released in 2020 with the appropriate title of “Don’t Die Wondering”.  He was surprised to learn recently that a reprint of the book is under way. Pat talks of his move to a Central Coast property which affords him easy access to northern race meetings where he’s mentoring young participants.
Great to catch up with one of Australia’s ever increasing number of female jockeys. The lady with a name that catches the eye, is 37 years old and could be the nation’s oldest apprentice. Kath Bell-Pitomac talks about the gruelling travelling she undertakes to ride at meetings all over the state. Kath reminisces about her nomadic childhood. She talks of early days in South Australia, Victoria, and the Northern Territory. Horses were always her chief interest. She recalls her first introduction to racehorses at Pioneer Park racetrack Alice Springs. Kath recalls her first job as a professional trackwork rider. She talks of a move to Newcastle and the trainer who signed her to an apprenticeship.  The mature age apprentice remembers her early winners and the beginning of her relationship with the fellow jockey who would become her husband. Kath looks back on her break away from racing. She lost the desire completely and didn’t ride a racehorse for ten years.   She talks of her return to trackwork at Wellington(NSW). Slowly the passion returned and she began a new career as an amateur jockey. It wasn’t long before she got her weight down and re applied for her professional licence. Kath talks openly about her horror run of accidents, the extent of her many injuries  and the frustrating months out of the saddle. The thirty seven year old acknowledges her favourite horses and favourite races. Bell-Pitomac pays tribute to the special people who’ve inspired her to pursue a lifelong passion for horses, including her dedicated manager. The remarkable horse person talks of husband Daniel and two wonderful kids- the son and daughter who look forward to the fashions in the field promotions at country race meetings.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Supernova Sound Podcasts
Podcast Status
May 22nd, 2018
Latest Episode
Apr 20th, 2021
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
36 minutes

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