Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (VIC)
Cairon Maher and David Eustace join the ATB training team for the 2018/19 season. At just 37 years of age, Ciaron has established himself as a rare talent in Australian racing. Ciaron tasted Group 1 glory at just 26 years old and has consistently built upon that success to now having the best winners-to-runners strike rate in Victoria. Ciaron’s rare gift for preparing his horses to peak at the right time is born from his attention to detail and individual approach to each horse.
David Eustace joined Ciaron Maher Racing in mid-2016 and was performing the role of Assistant Trainer prior to the announcement that he would be training in partnership with Ciaron recently.
"He has proven himself as a hard-working professional, learning the Ciaron Maher Racing way but also bringing new ideas to the fore."
"David has been instrumental in the growth and success of the stable over the past 12 months," Maher told Racing.com.
ATB welcome the Caulfield-based team of Maher and Eustace.
Darren Weir (VIC)
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, Darren brought Forest Lodge and completely refurbished it, the facilites are constantly being upgraded to state of the art.
Darren has been leading Country Trainer since 2005 training over 100 winners each season. He is prepared to take horses to the races where they have the best winning chance, demonstrated by a winning strike-rate of close to 25%.
Watch a young Darren Weir with Darren Dance
Iain Jardine (UK)
Nakeeta's presence in the group 1 Melbourne Cup under the Scotsman's care emphasises Jardine's relatively rapid rise to the status of one of Scotland's best young trainers. Jardine has galloped quickly along the racing path after winning his first race as a jumps jockey aboard Supertop at Aintree in November 21 years ago. By the time his jumps riding career finished, he knew he wanted to be a trainer and grabbed some stables near Hawick to try his hand at the craft. Iain is based in Scotland with a divided interest in training flat & NH horses.
"I train them as I find them," Jardine said. "[I] just get the horse fit and run it when I think it is ready to run. The horse will tell me when it is ready to run and I will run it in the right race."
Jardine chose to come to Melbourne after winning the Ebor at York in August 2017, a race the 2016 Melbourne Cup runner-up Heartbreak City won 12 months earlier.
Archie Alexander (VIC)
An exciting new chapter of Archie Alexander's training career commenced on July 1 2014 when Alexander Racing opened its doors in Ballarat.
With the experience gained under Nicky Henderson, Alec Head, Criquette Head-Maarek, Todd Pletcher, Mark Johnston, Aidan O’Brien and Robert Hickmott (with the Lloyd Williams team), Archie now has completed his 'apprenticeship' and is ready to mix the methods he's learned in Europe and Australia to create a winning formula.
In the peaceful surrounds at Ballarat, which Archie believes is ideal for a racehorse, Archie has the confidence in his ability to compete with the best.
Robbie Griffiths (VIC)
Robbie was fortunate to be born into the Thoroughbred industry and destined to be involved in some way or another. He completed a successful apprenticeship as a jockey riding in excess of 250 winners both on metropolitan and provincial racetracks and included riding for the likes of the Late Colin Hayes, Bart Cummings, Lee Freedman. It was as a result of this that Robbie was able to outride his apprentice claim in his first 2 years of riding.
Robbie's transition to Training commenced soon after he became foreman for Tony Vasil. Robbie spent 12 months in this role before spending time overseas observing leading European trainers training techniques. Robbie obtained his trainer’s license in 1991 and has earned the reputation as an innovative and successful trainer by achieving success in Group and Listed races.
Metropolitan success was achieved with the likes of Dandy Kid, (holds the Moonee Valley record for most flat wins at the course), Confederate Kid, Beltrois, not to mention the Group 1 placed Cocinero, Solar Antiquity & Cancanelle. Recent times have see the likes of Danzylum, Avionics, Mr Riggs, Dash to Viz.
Robbie has also won leading Super VOBIS trainer of the year for consecutive years.
David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Debernig (VIC)
From a young age, David followed his dad around constantly in the stables and at the track, observing and learning from him as much as he could. When he was old enough, he served a thorough apprenticeship by helping out in the stables where he experienced every aspect of the business. He spent time with the vets, and farriers, and he rode trackwork, strapped horses and mucked out stables.
David took over the training operation at Lindsay Park at the start of the 1990-91 season at the age of 28, following his fathers retirement. During this first season, David won the Cox Plate (Australia’s G1 weight-for-age championship) with Better Loosen Up, set a world record of six Group winners in a day at Flemington on Derby Day and then won the Japan Cup (the world’s richest race at the time) with Better Loosen Up a month later.
In 1994, he won the Melbourne Cup with imported galloper Jeune (for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum) and by the end of the 1994-95 season, David had won every Melbourne and Adelaide Metropolitan Trainer’s Premiership and racked up an amazing 31 Group One wins.
In 1996, David accepted an invitation to train in the world’s toughest racing environment, Hong Kong. He was an immediate success, winning two Trainer’s Premierships (in the top four in each of his nine seasons) and training 458 winners including the G1 Hong Kong International Sprint (All Thrills Too in 2002) and the G1 Hong Kong Derby (Elegant Fashion in 2003) and 15 other Hong Kong Group Ones.
David returned to Lindsay Park in 2005 and has since secured another two Melbourne Metropolitan Trainer Premierships, three Adelaide Metropolitan Premierships and trained a further 29 Group One winners.
In his 20 year training career, David has trained in excess of 2800 winners, including 78 Group One wins. He has won most of Australia’s major races including the Melbourne Cup (Jeune in 1994), Caulfield Cup (Fraar in 1993 and Tawqeet in 2006), Cox Plate (Better Loosen Up 1990 and Fields of Omagh in 2006) and the Golden Slipper (Miss Finland in 2006).
David is the youngest trainer ever to be inducted when he joined his father Colin in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.
Watch Darren Dance as he gets to know David Hayes & Tom Debernig:
Saab Hasan (VIC)
“I always maintain a horse doesn’t know what a $50 note is. If you give a horse love and give them passion, they will respond” – Saab Hasan.
Saab’s mantra comes from his extraordinary path to becoming a trainer, which started early in his childhood in the Turkish side of Cyprus.
War forced Hasan and his family to head to Australia for a better life but Saab had already told his grandfather he would become a horse trainer, despite not laying his hands on a horse on the family farm.
Saab’s family relocated to Australia in time for the youngster to see Van Der Hum win the 1976 Melbourne Cup in torrential rain but the newly-arrived Hasan was hooked on the great sport that is thoroughbred racing.
Saab tried every stable at Flemington at the time looking for a job in racing before Mick Cerchi gave the 15-year-old his first break in the game.
Hasan learned from Cerchi and other outstanding horsemen such as John Sadler, David Hayes and the master trainer Bart Cummings before branching out on his own.
Saab is now based at the famous Chiquita Lodge stables at Flemington where his horses get the best of everything at the world class training centre.
Shawn Mathrick is based at Cranbourne with his team. A boutique stable, it is all about individual care and keeping horses happy for Shawn.
With the Cranbourne training centre at his disposal as well as the beach and the serenity of his property it is easy to see why horses are relaxed and well presented on race day.
Shrewd placement over the years has seen Shawn and his team with great results across country Victoria including plenty of city success.
Adirondack, Ayres Rock, Our Nkwazi, Hell On Earth, So Does He, Pepin Hoaks, Global Assault, Skulduggery & Beacons have been more than handy horses that have had the Mathrick polish.
Michael grew up in a racing family and began his thoroughbred training career in August 2006 where he obtained his trainer’s license directly after his 18th birthday. It was an inevitable career step following in the footsteps of his father John Hickmott, a successful for trainer for the past 2 decades in Victoria and South Australia and his older brother Robert, a multiple Group 1 winning trainer of the Melbourne Cup, Sydney Cup & Caulfield Cup who is the head trainer of the Lloyd Williams Racing operation based out of Macedon Lodge, Victoria.
Michael began training and had excellent success with his horses in Darwin, the 2007 and 2009 Darwin Cup victories of General Market and Activation being highlights. After analysing his business options, August 2011 saw an exciting new change made with Michael transferring to South Australia.
Based at Murray Bridge, he has foresight and a fresh approach to his career in racing. His motivation is that of a professional businessman, who identifies his role as a business operator as well as a trainer. His progressive insight is a fresh approach where he strategizes to obtain the maximum return for his client. Careful placement and selection is paramount in his success. He has an eye for talent and gaining returns for effort.
Michael looks forward to a continued career with the thoroughbred and has a vast and expanding education in the Austral Asian racing industry. Following trends, utilizing a network of professional services and a transparent relationship with his clients are commending traits. Michael looks forward to his future in racing and providing a unique service to his clients.
Daniel is a young trainer that has taken big strides in his first few years as a trainer.
Based at Wangoom (near Warrnambool) Daniel gained plenty of experience having worked under names like Weir, Hayes, McEvoy as well as other Warrnambool trainers Ciaron Maher and Jarrod McLean.
With the beach at the stable’s disposal the Bowman team are able to provide plenty of variety for their racehorses. The farm also provides a relaxed and quiet atmosphere for the horses – based about five minutes from the Warrnambool racetrack and ten minutes from the beach.
Daniel’s final part of his ‘apprenticeship’ prior to gaining his full license in 2014 was as foreman for the powerful Weir stable at the Bool. With horses like Puissance De Lune, Signoff, Trust In A Gust, May’s Dream, Akzar as well as ATB champs in Platelet and Taiyoo under his care, winning results came thick and fast as the Weir domination gained momentum.
Aside from racing Daniel’s focus is on his family, including his son Charlie and daughter Annie. Daniel is supported by his wife, Denita, who is not only a fantastic homemaker but is the behind the scenes expert in running the business. With over 10 years experience in the racing industry Denita, happily assists in the many varied duties required in running a racing stable.
Daniel thoroughly enjoys his role of being a horse trainer but the ultimate highlight of that role is sharing the race day experience with his owners.
Will Clarken (SA)
Clarken Racing is a progressive training establishment based at Morphettville, South Australia, which consistently delivers a high strike rate of runners to winners through embracing technology and innovation.
As a relative new-comer to the training ranks Clarken trained his first winner in 2010, and now with a well established boutique team consistently trains winners at a great strike rate around 18%.
As one of SA’s leading metro trainers, Clarken isn’t afraid to tackle the big names of Melbourne racing with the right horse.
“I believe that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy racing success as long as you do your research and invest in preparation and planning”......WILL CLARKEN, Trainer
Paul Preusker (VIC)
First started in 1996 Paul Preusker Racing is located in McKenzie Creek, near Horsham Victoria. situated on 44 acres, it is home to up to 35 horses in training at any given time. Our employees all pride themselves on being dedicated to the training and to maintaining the health and wellbeing of our horses on every level. We offer a range of services to benefit every equine athlete entering our stable, ontop of Race Training we offer Pretraining, Breaking and Rehabilitation.
Alain Couétil (FRA)
"For a horse to express its best potential, do not burn the stages. Otherwise, you reduce the horse's performance." Hence the need to prepare a specific program, with objectives, for each horse."My goal is not to make as many winners as possible, but to take care of a horse's career to take it to the maximum of its possibilities" ... and thus to win great races.
Alain Couétil, born of a large family of horsemen, watches over the career of about eighty horses with a team working according to his principles.
In short, to summarize the philosophy of Alain Couétil, it would suffice to evoke the love of the horse and the spirit of competition.
Alain joins the ATB training team along with our 2017 Melbourne Cup entry Tiberian.
Matt Cumani (VIC)
Newmarket born and bred, the son of revered English Derby winner, Luca Cumani, and brother to renown racing expert & commentator, Francesca, Matt has racing in his blood.
Matt’s approach seamlessly blends the best of old school horsemanship with his own take on globally-informed techniques and up-to-the-minute industry advancements.
Having made his mark in the frenetic worlds of finance and British politics respectively it wasn’t long before Matt inevitably returned to the very passion he was born to pursue.
Matt boasts ten years of varied and intensive experience under the tutelage of some of the world’s most celebrated trainers, among them, Todd Pletcher, Paddy Gallagher, Chris Waller, Ed Dunlop, and of course, Luca Cumani.
It is this dynamic range of exposure and learned techniques that grants Matt a unique breadth and comprehensive depth unrivalled in the industry. We welcome Matt to the ATB team.
Matthew Williams (VIC)
Matthew Williams has been working with horses for the past 20 years, and more formally, training horses for the past 15 years. Located at Wangoom Lodge, Matthew has established an exceptional training complex that accommodates up to 40 horses in training, with an additional agistment property housing up to 40 horses. With the availability of the local beaches, Matthew was initially given the opportunity, through Brian Mayfeild Smith, Quinton Scott, Tony Noonan and Darren Weir to rehabilitate injured horses.
With successful results the business grew to the point where some of the country’s most talented gallopers come to freshen up and rejuvenate before returning for their next racing campaign. Over several years Matthew built a strong working relationship with trainers such as Brian Mayfield-Smith and Colin Little, consistently having many of their top horses in his care.
Over the last few years Matthew has branched out into the training industry in his own right, with a team of around 40 horses in work. Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock have come on board and had many winners since joing the team. Horses like Thundahar, Sera Ceilo, Dashatin, Group winner Uxorious and the duel stakes placed Melbourne Cup Day winning Flying Tessie have given Matthew metropolitan success, with Thundahar taking out the Yarra Glen cup in 2004. Matthew has trained over 100 winners, several being at the Warrnambool May Cup Carnival.
Josh has been working with ATB for two years as a pre-trainer at his Bendigo stables.
Born into racing with his Dad Geordie a former jump's jockey and mum Kate a member of the Dwyer family at Warrnambool, Josh has crafted his own niche in racing.
Having trained about 30 winners from small numbers over the past five years, his patience and eye for detail are his biggest traits.
A city winner with Dubai King at Moonee Valley is the undoubted highlight, but wins with others including Clang And Dazzle (4), Six Beat (3), Irksome (2), Falzzon (1), G'Day Blue (1) & Insider's Favourite (1).
Mick Price Trainer (VIC)
Since taking out his license in 1991, Mick Price has firmly established himself as one of the leading racehorse trainers in Australia.
In 2003 Mick trained the trifecta in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview with Halibery, Gaelic Princess and Roedean, while World Peace took out the race for the stable in 2004.
Mick kept his fantastic record with two-year-olds intact by winning both the colts and fillies divisions of the Blue Diamond Preludes in 2005 with Perfectly Ready and Doubting.
In 2007 he continued his stakes winning trend by taking out the Group 1 Underwood Stakes with Rubiscent, the Group 2 Sandown Guineas with Schilling and the Group 3 Sandown Stakes with Gotta Have Heart, just to name a few.
In 2008/2009 the season started off in terrific style with Light Fantastic winning the Group 2 JJ Liston Stakes. The South Yarra Stakes Group 3 was won by Vivacious Spirit. Group 1 New Zealander Alamosa won the Group 1 Toorak Hcp and Damselfly won the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club. In total, Mick won six Group 1 races, five Group 2 events, five Group 3 events and six Listed races for the season among his massive total of 124 winners for the racing year.
The 2009/2010 season saw Mick train his 16th Group 1 winner with Velocitea taking out the Goodwood Handicap.
Group One Blue Diamond success was around the corner in 2011/2012 when a smart filly called Samaready came out and won the Group Three Blue Diamond Preview. The filly then backed up and smashed her rivals in the Group One 2012 Blue Diamond. The More Than Ready filly then went on to complete a winning hat trick taking out the Group Two Reisling Stakes at Rosehill. Other Stakes success throughout this season included multiple wins to Instinction and Malasun.
Price has prepared more than 100 winners a season for the past 10 seasons, a position that puts him in rare company.
Tony Gollan (QLD)
Tony had close ties to the stable run by his father Darryl while he was growing up and he had been a keen follower of form to give his penchant for a punt some hope of success. Despite some words of warning from his dad Tony took out a trainer’s licence when he was 20. He had a team of four horses and the confidence of youth.
His first winner was Carbon Shadow at Clifford Park. Katsidis, by then a close mate as well as doing a lot of riding for Tony, was the jockey when the young Toowoomba trainer secured his first metropolitan winner with Nova Serrure. At that time Tony, aged 22, let his natural ambitious instincts rule his head. He set up a stable in Brisbane and enjoyed some early success and soon had a stable of 14 horses. When advised his visitor’s permit had elapsed Tony made the decision to set up base at the Gold Coast. After six months he headed back to Toowoomba and renewed his close ties to Darryl. He spent the next year soaking knowledge and made very close observations of the way legendary trainer Jim Atkins.
Tony revived his own training business in 2003 and stroke of good fortune gave his return some early momentum. Eureka Stud father-son combination Colin and Scott McAlpine gave him a Special Dane filly which they named Temple Spirit. The filly was a great success on the track, wining eight races. The association with Temple Spirit has continued with Gollan Racing enjoying tremendous success with of the mare’s foal Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom. The latter lifted Tony’s profile on to the big stage when he won a Listed Race at Flemington on Oaks day in 2010. It also whet his appetite for the major carnivals.
Watch Darren Dance as he gets to know Tony Gollan:
Damien Batters (Sunshine Coast)
Damien Batters is a young Queensland based trainer that has demonstrated success with a handful of current or former ATB racehorses that have come his way during the latter part of 2015, early 2016.
Based on the Sunshine Coast, where he works his horses daily, Damien has won with Already Leica under recent ATB ownership as well as having success with former ATB horses in Grand Arrow and Flying Paris formerly trained by Darren Weir and Matthew Williams respectively.
Along the lines of our initial association with Darren Weir over 15 years ago, we identified Damien as a very good horseman with the potential to reach great heights as a trainer.
His communication skills are at a very good level, something we pride ourselves on at ATB, and with his willingness to succeed we are very happy to have Damien and his family on board.