As racing returns to Ascot for the new season today, four of WA’s leading trainers take thewest.com.au back through their favourite memories at the industry headquarters.
Fred Kersley on Northerly’s victory in the 2000 Peters Stakes: “He had to win to make him eligible for the Railway (Stakes), which he won. So that stands out for me and a turn in my career, I guess, in thoroughbred racing coincided with that. I have a lot of people to thank for commemorating the horse’s career in the way that they have with the sculpture (which will be unveiled at Ascot today). I hope the public enjoy it. I understand that at the great racetracks across the world that they do similar things, so to be part of that is certainly significant. He was one in a million and it was sad to see him go at such an early age.”
Neville Parnham: “I’ve got a lot of good memories from Ascot and I’ve had a lot of success at the carnival. But I suppose the biggest win that sticks out is the 2000 Perth Cup (with Luna Tudor). It was just a big thrill that day, I raced the horse with some really good friends of mine and we were going through a tough period, there. For some of the guys in the horse, it was a big boost and we were very excited that day. We all finished up back at Cocos that night and it went on into a long evening. The best part of coming back to Ascot is that its carnival time. The bigger races are presented, it’s getting into the summer period and it’s happy days.”
Simon Miller: “Winning the Karrakatta (Plate with Night War in 2011), for me that was pretty special. I love training the babies and to actually win one was the pinnacle. I bought her for two big clients of mine and one had never been in horses before so for him to win the Karrakatta in his first year of racing horses probably sets him up for life to stay in the industry. We’ve captured him and he’s got the bug and from there they were away. Coming back to Ascot … it’s us versus them now – the locals versus the Eastern Staters when they come across.”
Dan Morton: “As far as big races go, I’m yet to win a big race here so my best memories probably delve back to when dad (Len) was training and had a lot of success. As kids growing up it was exciting times coming down to the big carnivals when all the Eastern States horses were about. Dad was lucky enough to be successful and it was all good fun for us. He raced Muros, Dark Beau and Lost World … he had a lot of good horses that were exciting to watch race.”