Horse racing has been a favourite pastime for years in Australia. The first thoroughbred race was run back in 1810. Before that, horses were scarce as they were not native to the country. As settlements grew, the sport evolved and became more popular amongst the Australian people. The races are not just about jockeys riding the horses to victory though. It takes owners and trainers to take care of the horses to get the best they can out of them. There have been many people throughout the history of horse racing who have made a remarkable impact on the sport.
William Samuel (W.S.) Cox
W.S. Cox was one of the pioneers of horse racing. A man of vision and staunch determination, he founded the Moonee Valley Racing Club in 1883, adamant that there would be a horse racing venue in that area. Now, the W.S. Cox Plate is run annually at the Moonee Valley Racecourse which was inaugurated in 1922 and has an impressive prize purse of $5,000,000. There have been many notable winners of the W.S. Cox Plate including Phar Lap, Tobin Bronze and Kingston Town, who was trained by T.J. Smith.
Thomas John (T.J.) Smith
Tommy became a certified trainer in 1941 and went on to train many successful racehorse. His first success was with a horse called Bragger, which he named in honour of the trainer’s nickname. The horse won several races including the Group 1 Railway Quality race in 1946. Further success ensued in 1949 with his horse Playboy winning the 1949 Australian Derby. T.J. Smith went on to train winners of 33 races in Sydney over the years and the Endeavour Stakes was renamed after him in 1999 to become the T.J. Smith Stakes. When the TJ Smith Stakes betting tips are available, it’s best to heed them to up your chances of a win when this event occurs in honour of the great man who was also awarded an MBE for his services to the community.
As the daughter of T.J. Smith, Gai Waterhouse has been surrounded by horse racing her entire life. So it’s no wonder she took up the mantle of her father and trained thoroughbreds using the skills her father taught her. Today, she is one of the most successful horse trainers in history with 147 Group 1 winners which include champion racehorses More Joyous, Grand Armee and Fiorente. She has trained racehorses that have won in almost every event in Australia. The Golden Slipper and the Melbourne Cup are but two of her crowning achievements.
Bart Cummings has a long history in the world of horseracing. He began in 1953 when he earned his trainers license in Australia, but he had plenty of experience before that too. His father was accomplished trainer Jim Cummings and young Bart learned a lot from him growing up. Bart Cummings has had a record total of 89 runners in the Melbourne Cup, of which he won 12 of them. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1991 just after his racehorse Let’s Elope won the Melbourne Cup. He sadly passed away in Sydney in 2015, aged 87, but will never be forgotten as one of the most influential people in horseracing.
From the days of old to the current times, Australia has produced some of the international horseracing community’s most prominent trainers and as the sport continues, so too will the talent coming out of Australia.