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Melbourne Cup week ticked off bucket list - and there was plenty to do besides!

Godolphin Flying Start student Samantha Cripps on her experiences in Australasia

Godolphin Flying Start graduates enjoying a day out at Flemington
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Time really does fly when you’re having fun! It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the end of our Australian phase.

It’s been a busy month, which was kicked off with our Australian conference and a race meeting that has been on my bucket list since I fell in love with racing - the famous Melbourne Cup week.

Our Australian Conference challenged each trainee to give a 'TED talk'. In short, we were able to talk about anything, with the end goal to wrap it into an idea worth sharing.

This was the first time this had been attempted and I think everyone put their own unique spin on the idea and it came together as a very inspiring evening. I talked about the lessons that horses have taught me about life.

The following day, after a ten-hour road trip, we arrived in the vibrant City of Melbourne. We attended the Derby, Melbourne Cup, and the Oaks over the week. We spent the days in between visiting studs and racing stables.

The runners file past the packed stands with the Melbourne skyline in the background
It is amazing that even in such a busy and exciting week, so many people made time to meet us and share their businesses and thoughts. We started off by spending time with Racing Victoria and learned what goes into a handicapper coming out with race weights and about the jockey school in Victoria.


For more information on the initiative, visit the Godolphin Flying Start website


We visited some of the Victorian farms such as Blue Gum Farm, who so kindly talked about how their family business operates and how they have adapted over the years. We went to Swettenham Stud, where we saw stallions such as Highland Reel, Toronado and Sioux Nation, among others.

Of course we were welcomed into Godolphin’s beautiful Northwood Park and didn’t just stop at studs! We got an extensive tour of the incredibly successful Lindsay Park and also visited Mick Price Racing, Tony McEvoy Mitchell Racing, and Macedon Lodge. All were very impressive and everyone took in a lot of new information. 

Following a fantastic week we began our Australian externships, where we were able to focus on certain aspects of the industry that we find most interesting. I have been fortunate enough to be at Newgate Farm in Aberdeen. It has been so interesting to learn more about how their organisation operates and spend time with such an innovate team.

As a part of my externship, I attended the Karaka Ready to Run Sale with bloodstock agent Bill Mitchell. It was an outstanding opportunity to explore New Zealand and get a feel for auctions in the Australasian marketplace.

I was also able to visit some top New Zealand farms, including Waikato Stud, Valachi Downs and the historic Cambridge Stud. Since returning, I have visited the Hunter Valley to look at yearlings heading to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January with the Newgate team. 

We complete this phase tomorrow, December 5, and most of us will be heading home for the holidays. It’s hard to believe this phase is almost over and I can’t thank everyone enough for being so kind and welcoming. This has been an unforgettable year and a half. 


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It is amazing that even in such a busy and exciting week, so many people made time to meet us and share their businesses and thoughts
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