Enthusiasm around Australian industry is so infectious
A dispatch from Joe Callan, a second-year trainee on the Godolphin scheme
It's hard to comprehend how it has already been two months since we touched down in Australia and commenced the second year of the Godolphin Flying Start programme. For myself, it was a case of returning to familiar waters as I spent almost a year working here in 2015.
Something that always stayed with me from my past experiences working here was the strength of the industry and the passion for the game that is evident through the race-day experience.
Luckily, myself and my fellow trainees were immediately immersed in to the centre of the racing excitement having the opportunity to see the super mare Winx claim her 18th straight victory on our first week in Australia. That aided in each of us catching the racing bug in Australia immediately and subsequently making the seven-hour round trip to Sydney almost a weekly fixture on our calendar.
Similar to each of our visited countries to date, we have received a warm welcome and have been fortunate to have had some incredible experiences and met some interesting people in such a short space of time.
We spent a week in Sydney, where we visited leading yards and operations including spending a morning with leading training duo Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Adrian, who is a past graduate of the course, had some much-appreciated advice for us, while Gai shared some words of wisdom with the trainees.
We also visited James Cummings, Godolphin’s newly appointed trainer who has got off to an excellent start highlighted by Alizee’s victory in the Group 1 Flight Stakes. We also managed to get a sneak preview of the new Inglis sales complex at Warwick Farm, which is very impressive.
Throughout that busy week we attended the University of Sydney where we commenced our leadership module, which is truly enlightening and sure to benefit each of us in our respective careers.
The passion and enthusiasm surrounding the Australian industry is also evident among the breeders in the Hunter Valley, where we are based for most of our stay in Australia.
On our second week we helped the Darley team with the annual stallion parade. The sheer number of attendees at the parade over the two days really outlined the healthy state of the Australian industry. Having the opportunity to meet the local breeders was an excellent learning experience for each of the trainees.
From our base in the Hunter Valley we have visited some of the leading stud farms and have had the opportunity to work on some of them as part of our practical rotations. I had the amazing chance to work with the excellent team at Kelvinside with the Darley stallions.
It was incredible to be working with such legendary horses as Medaglia D'Oro, Exceed And Excel, Lonhro and Teofilo. While the other trainees had as equal impressive experiences working on farms such as Vinery Stud, Arrowfield Stud, Sledmere Stud, Newgate Farm, Yarraman Park Stud, Segenhoe Stud and Rod Northam Racing.
I know each of the trainees are truly grateful for the chance to have spent three weeks on their respective placements and learned much about the day to day running of an operation here, which is vastly different to that of any other country we have experienced so far on the course.
So far, Australia has been a truly brilliant experience and we are looking forward to the rest of our phase here. We are very fortunate to have these opportunities through the kindness of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.