Born in Berriwillock, in the Mallee District of Victoria, Darren was raised on the family farm. During this time he worked for various trainers in the area, including Jack Coffey in Birchip and John Castleman in Mildura.
Darren then worked for Colin Hayes at the world-renowned Lindsay Park training complex, and spent a few months working in a stable in Ireland. On returning to Australia, Darren worked at Lindsay Park Stud.
In 1990, Darren moved to Stawell and began working as a farrier, servicing trainers in the Wimmera and Western District areas of Victoria, he then began breaking-in horses for a large state wide client base.
Darren obtained his Owner-Trainer License in 1995 and his Full License in 1997.
On relocating to Ballarat in 2001, the property was completely refurbished and is constantly being upgraded.
Darren has been leading Country Trainer since 2005 training over 100 winners each season. For the last 3 seasons, he's been the Champion trainer in Victoria and has turned over 200 winners each season! He's prepared to take horses to the races where they have the best winning chance, and has one of the best winning strike-rates in Australia.
Darren is a perfectionist by nature and leaves no stone unturned in getting the greatest ability out of each horse.
Darren has the confidence, resources and right team to ensure the stable keeps on succeeding.
Robbie Laing is a great bloke to have a horse with!
A likeable type who’ll always find the time to have a chat with his owners, he’s been a leading trainer amongst the Victorian ranks for over 30 years now.
The key to Robbie’s success as he explains it himself, is ‘patience’, and coupled up with sometimes unconventional methods of training his horses, there seems to be no end to Robbie’s ability to get the best out of a racehorse. Whether it’s winning an early two year old with a precocious youngster, winning The Grand Annual Steeplechase over 4000m at Warrnambool, or even winning one of the biggest races on the Australian racing calendar like the prestigious VRC Derby for three year olds, Robbie Laing can do it all.
Training from his state of the art stables which have fabulous facilities at Cranbourne on the Eastern outskirts of Melbourne, Robbie is very much a hands on trainer who works with a dedicated team of experienced and reliable staff. He can train his horses out of normal yards and stables, he can train them out of paddocks if required, and he can train them along the beaches of the Mornington Peninsula if that’s what he feels suits the horse the best. In fact, being a former jockey who still rides trackwork, Robbie can often be seen at Melbourne beaches wading his horses through the salt water pre and post race which is of course, extremely beneficial to their legs and their general well being.
Some of his better horses over the last three decades have been ROMAN ARCH (G1 Australian Cup), POLANSKI (G1 VRC Derby), PERFECT BLISS (1000 Guineas), PANTANI (Adelaide Cup & South Australian Derby), DIRECT CHARGE(Maribynong Plate), DANERICH, SIR PENTIRE (VRC St Leger), MANTLEPIECE (Coongy Hcp), SHE’S GOT GEARS, SPECTROLITE, BOOMWA, etc, and at any given time, Robbie always seems to have a good horse in his stable.
There’s no doubt that your horse will get the best care and attention, and be given the best chance of winning a race, when it’s prepared by Robbie Laing...
For the best part of the last 20 years or so, Lindsey Smith has been considered among the very best thoroughbred horse trainers in Western Australia.
Astute, knowledgeable, friendly and funny (don’t they love interviewing him on Racing Radio!), Lindsey rose to prominence in the late ‘90s through the deeds of the outstanding stayer Old Cobber winning 11 races and finishing second and fourth in the 1998 and 2000 Perth Cups respectively.
Lindsey's training career rose to dizzy heights at the start of the new millennium when racking up a whole host of feature races, his amazing run of success taking him all the way to Flemington where he saddled up superstar galloper Old Comrade to win the 2002 Australian Cup, and the champion 3yo stayer Plastered to win the 2004 Victoria Derby.
Lindsey is a true big race trainer - you name it and he's more than likely won it. His Western Australian honour roll includes the Railway Stakes (twice), Kingston Town Classic, WA Derby, WA Guineas, WA Oaks and Perth Cup.
In the years since, Lindsey has remained entrenched among the best in the business, training his team of capable gallopers from his well-developed Casuarina (40km south of Perth) property and putting the polish on a consistent stream of city winners. Apart from his many big race winners highlighted more recently by Scales Of Justice's win in the G1 Railway Stakes, some of his other recent winners at the time of writing include:
Bombs Away, Cougar Express (Bunbury Cup, Apprentices Cup), Flying Time (7 wins and over $230,000), Modello (8 wins and over $320,000), Zarantz (4 wins in a row), Ringmeister (7 wins and over $270,000), Honest Lies (6 wins and over $260,000), Madassa, It’s Dynamite, Woken, Silver Magic Ships, etc…
If the Winners Circle is where you want to be, then there are few better trainers to get you there with a quality young horse than Lindsey Smith...
Many trainers have a family rich in racing history. Trainers often train because they are following in the footsteps of a pathway that has been laid by the generations before them. Luke Oliver is different....
He simply grew up loving racing. From the first time he attended the races as a young boy he knew the passion he had for the sport of kings would one day become part of his every day life.
After spending his early adulthood working in the corporate banking sector Luke soon found the draw of the thoroughbred to be an overwhelming calling. Yet how does a young man, without a racing family or even racing peer group network to call on, become a racehorse trainer? With the solution to this problem not readily apparent Luke decided to resist the urgings of those around him to make haste slowly and decided on a more simple if somewhat rushed approach - he went to the nearest city track to his home and knocked on the first trainers door he found and demanded a job.
That trainer was revered Caulfield trainer James Riley. Somehow Luke managed to convince James to take him on and the rest, as they say, is history.
Luke has carved his reputation like most successful trainers by improving horses he has been sent or purchased from other trainers. Two great examples are Sensational Toy and Royal Ida.
Luke purchased Sensational Toy for just $3,000 as a seven year old mare who hadn’t won for over two years . Using his skills as a horseman he ran the mare for just over two years winning ten times with her and amassing $350,000 in prize money.
Royal Ida was purchased out of a paddock and retirement at the age of nine by Luke in August 2009 for $15,000. Two years on he has won over $300,000 including the Group 3 Standish Handicap at Flemington.
Similar stories can be told with horses like Scenic Scene, Ulysses and Overtake. This year is proving a transitional one for Luke due to him being sent a number of young and unraced horses because of the success he has achieved in his short training career.
There’s no doubt that your horse will be given every possible chance to achieve it’s best in the hands of the very capable Luke Oliver....
"I have to pass on my how fantastic Luke and Steve were at the races yesterday. I have been in mounting yards and winners rooms with friends who have owned horses before and who have been trained by highly regarded well known trainers who don't engage with their clients at all. Luke and Steve were totally the opposite and were fantastic. Certainly made the experience of being personally involved in my first winner even better. Good choice to have Luke Oliver training for you". Brett Hereward..
For 25 years, Trevor and his wife Joanne have achieved continual success out of their Ascot and West Swan based training facilities. He has an honour roll of feature winners which include:-
- Gr 1 Railway Stakes - Modem (2004); Luckygray (2013)
- Gr 1 BMW Classic - Heroicity (1992)
- Gr 1 WATC Derby - Heroicity (1992)
- Gr 1 WATC Australian Derby - Natasha (1990); Heroicity (1991)
- Gr 1 Kingston Town Classic - Modem (2004)
- Gr 1 WA Oaks - Natasha (1990)
- Gr 2 WA Guineas - The Right Money (2002); Vain Crusader (2006); King Saul (2011)
- Gr 2 Karrakatta Plate - Luke's Luck (2012); Lucky Street (2015)
- Gr 2 WA Sires' Produce Stakes - Denmarket (2005); Luke's Luck (2012)
- 4 Magic Millions 2 Y'Old Classic's - Ravinia (2006); Time To Climb (2010); Lucky Street (2015); The River (2016)
- Miss Andretti Stakes - Lucky Street (2016)
"Right from the early days in racing, I've been fortunate enough to be associated with exceptional people", Trevor Andrews.
Trevor learnt his craft by working for Bert Harrison as a young lad when Bert had the top gallopers Asian Beau and Fait Accompli. Trevor also spent time working for the legendary, Tommy Smith.
Trevor spent three years training in Singapore where he trained over 60 winners, but it's Perth where Trevor has been so successful chalking up winner after winner, year after year in some of Western Australia's biggest races.
Without a doubt, one of the best dressed men on the racecourse, your horse will receive the very best of care given the experience, the knowledge, and the hands of Trevor Andrews...
Graeme Rogerson is one of Australasia's most successful and gifted racehorse trainers. A lifetime of dedication has seen Graeme rise to the top of the international racing scene. He’s not only an outstanding trainer and judge of horseflesh as evidenced by many of his outstanding gallopers, but he is a true international racing entrepreneur and an outstanding ambassador for the industry.
There’s no need to list some of his better horses and his biggest wins-there’s not enough space on this page-I’d need a completely separate book for that alone. Suffice to say that in 2012, Graeme was inducted into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame, in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the racing industry.
A superb judge of thoroughbred talent, he has, in his words, built the best horse training establishment in New Zealand. Without doubt, it’s one of the most fully integrated racehorse training operations in the world mixing both thoroughbred and standardbred training. Our horses in New Zealand are prepared by Graeme...
Ivan Haggerty is one of a diminishing number of “old school” horseman. From riding bush brumbies bareback and mustering cattle in the tough Australian outback, to becoming a world class polo player in his younger days, Ivan has “slowed down” in recent years and adapted very successfully to the business of training thoroughbred racehorses.
Working from his 50 acre property in Bullsbrook, and also using the excellent facilities at Ascot racecourse just 45 minutes away, Ivan is also one of just a dozen or so trainers that regularly take the extra time required to work their horses on either of the two grass tracks at Belmont Park racecourse too.
In addition to having won a stack of feature races during his time as a trainer, Ivan is also renowned for his prowess as one of the better equine chiropractors in Perth too! Now that’s handy if your horse has a back problem!
Ivan has the luxury of having his own 2000m sand track on his property, in addition to roomy yards, paddocks and stables. He regularly uses some of the best jockeys in Perth including Paul Harvey and William Pike, and has built up a very good strike rate with a small team of quality gallopers including winners such as Big Ted, Fleming Son, Grey Monarch, Sentenza, Spitfire Ace, etc.
You can relax in the knowledge that if your horse is placed with Ivan, it’ll be getting the very best of care and individual attention...
Hoofnote: Oh and he's also a very experienced farrier too!
Martin Allan is a relative newcomer to the Perth training ranks, being better known in the industry as a breaker and pre-trainer. However, with a string of winners such as Essayez (4 wins), I Done It (4 wins), Do You Do, Invincible Mode and Leica Mint from just a small number to have raced, Martin is showing that he’s easily and quite readily adapting to life in the winners circle! With beautiful stables situated right opposite Ascot racecourse in fact only a stroll across the street, Martin’s horses are able to use all the facilities at Perth’s racing headquarters, including four different tracks, little Sandown, practice barriers and the equine swimming pool. A young man who is building a good name for himself when it comes to winners, Martin is very good with owners and nothing is too much trouble when it comes to showing them their horses and keeping them informed.
Primarily a racehorse syndicator, Pete is also a hobby trainer too and loves nothing better than spending his early mornings taking on out of form discards from other stables and getting them to show their best. A firm believer in giving a horse a second chance at racing if there were reasons for it not showing it's best with a previous trainer, Pete says that looking at a horse through a different pair of eyes or just changing a horse's environment or daily routine can often bring out the best in them-something that Pete's been quite successful at over the years having won races with horses such as BOBBY BENZINE, THE MOON DAY, IT'S JUDGEMENT DAY, MILITARY SECRET, OUR PIE O MY, CUE SEA and CHAMPAGNELIFESTYLE. Pete combines his time as a hobby trainer with over seeing the running of both Belhus Racing Stables and Grand Syndicates...