By Tony Megahey
They don’t come any more popular or resilient in country sporting circles than Wellington’s former Rugby League international Terry Fahey, and he will have ample support for his three outsiders at Saturday’s Coonamble TAB meeting.
Fahey, a wing powerhouse for Australia, Country, Canberra, Souths and the Roosters, who famously clashed with Jack Gibson, has made a successful, if interrupted transition to thoroughbred training from greyhound training and breeding, and has major extensions in progress.
“They’re building new stables for me on the Wellington track, I’ve got a dozen in work now but I’ll soon have boxes for near 30, so it’s exciting times and I’m looking for new clients,” Fahey enthused.
Fahey resides in Dubbo and trains his team at Wellington with local Daniel Pitomac his stable rider.
“I’ve been rebuilding gradually, when I started back in 2006 I trained 30 winners in my first season and was flying, but then the horse virus hit and just destroyed my operation and plenty of others but we’ve dug in and recovered gradually.
“We’ve had our share of winners since, and my first Highway runner last season, Strangerinparadise was really unlucky according to Hugh Bowman.
“But those Highways have been fantastic for country racing and I’ll see you back in town real soon, I guarantee that,” Fahey said with typical determination.
Fahey takes on the prolific regional stables of the Lundholms, Lunn and Howlett with stablemates Hay Grazer and Very Sheik in the third event, a BM 55, 1200m, and in the fourth race, Great Body contests a 1300m Class One.
“Hay Grazer has good ability and has won twice for us, he’s resuming and on the up, and while 1200m is a bit short for him, the big track will really suit his finish. He’s more suited up to a ‘mile’, but my best for the day I’d reckon.
“Very Sheik is an old fella who has had problems and is near retirement but he’s owned by a couple of good mates and won four, placed a bit, so he’s paid his way.
“Great Body’s certainly better than her form reads. This is the first time she’s drawn a decent barrier since she won her maiden, been drawn in the car park mostly.
“I’m hoping to be competitive on the day, but like I say, I promise there’s bigger and better times ahead.”
And Rugby League? “Well, I came back and coached here for a couple of years, I didn’t play, but we made two grand finals. I don’t watch much NRL, too busy with horses following so many meetings. I suppose we get old and cranky but all the rules changes and so many officials, I just don’t understand, it’s an entirely different game to when I played.”