About Us


About Us Anthony began working with racehorses as a young lad in the Ballarat district, spending much of his teens strapping horses all over the state, in between studying his way into vet science at Melbourne University. He paid his way through university by working in stables in Melbourne, country Victoria and New Zealand.

With this background it is no surprise that, after graduating with honours, Anthony was soon working in racetrack practice firstly in Victoria, then WA and finally in the UK. He then leapt at the chance to become Assistant Trainer and Resident Vet at Mark Johnston Racing in North Yorkshire.

There he was integral to all areas of training in one of the most successful racing yards in Europe, including selecting yearlings at the world's major sales in England, Ireland and Kentucky.

At the end of 2005 Anthony, his wife Beck and their children Grace, Darcy and Rohan (later joined by Freya) quit England to return to Australia and do the impossible: set up a new stable from scratch.

Luckily their property in Miner's Rest became available at just the right time, providing an excellent base ideally situated adjacent to Ballarat's Tier 1 training facilities.

Filling the stable with quality horses was naturally not quite as easy, but Anthony was grateful to be given a chance with reject horses that had previously been heavily tried elsewhere; in fact the stables' first four inmates, all 4 year old maidens, had between them had 34 previous lifetime starts for one solitary placing, before joining the stable. From these 4 horses alone Anthony conjured 6 wins and over 22 other placings as well as posting numerous wins with other horses that  joined the stable along the way.  Among them hurdler Gorge and steeplechaser Sea Town who were bought by Anthony on behalf of stable clients for just $4,000 each, and went on to between them win 8 races and over $100,000 prizemoney for the stable.

 

Other stable highlights include Golfyn's win in the $50,000 Open Sprint on Ballarat Cup Day, and The Taurean's storming hurdles win at the time-honoured Warrnambool Carnival.

 

Anthony's love of jumps racing saw him mount a bold attempt to have the first ever Australian-trained runner at the world's greatest race meeting, the Cheltenham Festival.  The attempt foundered after in-form Gorge sustained a campaign-ending injury soon after his arrival in the UK, but the stable did snatch a slice of history when his stablemate and travelling companion Onajet became the first EVER Australian-trained runner in Scotland, posting a very respectable 4th of 14 over hurdles at Ayr.

 

In mid 2010, with jumps racing struggling to attract owners in Victoria, Anthony was offered a fantastic position which would help the stable establish itself in theUK and he and the whole family moved lock, stock and barrel half way around the world.  Unfortunately circumstances beyond his control scuttled this plan and Anthony was forced to make a comeback to equine veterinary practice, his training pursuits reduced very much to part-time. However, he remained very involved in British racing, both through performing raceday veterinary duties at Chester and Bangor, and working in a veterinary capacity treating some of the UK's best racehorses, including one Grand National and several Cheltenham winners.

 

Most importantly, on 9th April 2011 the stable's sole charge Gorge ran a very respectable midfield at Aintree in the race after the Grand National itself, thus making Gorge the first ever Australian horse to run at Aintree on the biggest day of jumps racing in the world.  Anthony later campaigned Gorge successfully over the bigger fences winning first up in Novice company at Taunton and bagging the prestigious Prince of Wales trophy at Ludlow, as well as weighing in at the massive King George meeting at Kempton and placing at the Uttoxeter's famous Midlands Grand National meeting.

 

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Gorge (Hayley Kelly) and Onajet (Anthony) shortly after arriving in the UK

for their history-making venture

 

 At the end of 2013 Anthony, Beck and family returned from the UK and began the staggering task of re-establising the stable, again virtually from scratch.  It remains certain to be an uphill struggle, with countless hours to be spent on the very cheap rejects that have been the stable's bread and butter.  However, with many of the stable's favourite clients giving support, the winners count in our first few years back has been more than respectable and we look forward to increasing the quality of bloodstock in the stable.

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Grace, Darcy, Rohan and Beck take in Cheltenham 2012

 

FreyaStables

Freya helps her Dad tend Gorge at Broxton Old Hall stables, near Chester, UK