Meet Wagga’s top trainers

The life of a racehorse trainer can be a stressful one.

Horses can be temperamental, get injured and not perform, 5am starts are a norm and wins can be few and far between at times.

There is something that keeps trainers in the game, the thrill of a big win or training a horse that exceeds expectations.

Some of Wagga’s top trainers spoke to The Daily Advertiser about what makes them tick.

Trevor Sutherland started as a trainer after he grew up in the industry with his family heavily involved in racing and training. Picture: Les Smith.

Trevor Sutherland started as a trainer after he grew up in the industry with his family heavily involved in racing and training. Picture: Les Smith.

Trevor Sutherland

How long have you been training?

About 15 years.

What made you get into the racing industry?

My family has always trained, I grew up with it as a kid. I went away and worked on cattle stations for a while but we decided to move back to town to give the kids an education and when I moved back I got into training.

How many horses do you have in your stables?

We generally have around 40 to 50 horses in work at any time.

How many staff do you employ?

We have nine and the majority are full time.

What’s the best moment of your training career?

Winning the Wellington Boot twice. It’s a two-year-old race worth $100,000. I won it with Sin Sin Sin (in 2008) and Power Alert (in 2013).

Also training the card at Carrathool was a bit of a rarity.

March 4 saw Trevor Sutherland’s horses win every race on the six-race program.

Gold Cup Carnival hopefuls:

Gentlemen Max will start off in Albury City handicap so he will hopefully be ready for a run in the Cup.

Winning big races has been the highlight of Gary’s training career. Picture: Les Smith

Winning big races has been the highlight of Gary’s training career. Picture: Les Smith

Gary Colvin

How long have you been training?

More than 25 years.

What made you get into the racing industry?

My family and my father. My father’s side are all into racing. My father was a trainer, we originally came from Tullibigeal. They get up me if I don’t take horses there each year, I’ve got to support my hometown.

How many horses do you have in your stables?

We have 18 in work and we’re breaking in about four yearlings.

How many staff do you employ?

I have four permanent and four causal. We have our own stables near the racetrack and our house is right next to stables so we live next to the horses.

What’s the best moment of your training career?

Taking on a city class race and winning was the best moment of Gary Colvin’s career.

I won Sandown in Melbourne with a horse called Lock the Key. He raced everywhere, in three different states, I was a part owner of him, there were eight owners.

Winning the Albury City Handicap and Ted Ryder Cup were also highlights. More recently, Gary was thrilled to see Forever New York head to Randwick on April 1 for the $400,000 Country Championships Final.

Gold Cup Carnival hopefuls:

I’ve got about 10 horses who will hopefully race.

Family ties saw Tim start a career as a trainer. Winning a Group 1 race was one of the highlights of his career. Picture: Kieren L.Tilly.

Family ties saw Tim start a career as a trainer. Winning a Group 1 race was one of the highlights of his career. Picture: Kieren L.Tilly.

Tim Donnelly

How long have you been training?

29 years (training in Wagga for 12 years)

What made you get into the racing industry?

I’ve been going to the races since I was a child, my mother was from Scone and her father raced horses, my father was involved in a couple of race clubs in Griffi th and Leeton.

How many horses do you have in your stables?

10 in work, and a couple of young ones but mainly older horses.

How many staff do you employ?

Two.

What’s the best moment of your training career?

Winning the George Ryder Stakes 19 years ago. It’s a Group 1 race so it’s the pinnacle of racing. He won the race with a horse named Quick Flick.

Gold Cup Carnival hopefuls:

Don’t think I’ll have any in the Cup but I will have a few in the carnival.

Chris started training more than 15 years ago after a passion for horses got him into the industry. Picture: Kieren L.Tilly.

Chris started training more than 15 years ago after a passion for horses got him into the industry. Picture: Kieren L.Tilly.

Chris Heywood

How long have you been training?

More than 15 years.

What made you get into the racing industry?

I’ve been into horses all my life and my uncle and a couple of other friends from Harden got me into it and I never looked back.

How many horses do you have in your stables?

Around 30 in work.

How many staff do you employ?

Six or seven.

What’s the best moment of your training career?

Running second in the Country Championship Final in Randwick last year with Mitchell Road (who he still trains).

Another highlight for Chris was running second at the Albury Gold Cup last year with High Opinion.

I get to do a job I love.

Gold Cup Carnival hopefuls:

I‘ve got a few horses that I will target for the Gold Cup Carnival.