By Grahame Timbrell
Jeremy Gask has been to many parts of the world with his horses but on Sunday will take a short drive down the road to run Tim’s Principal in the $30,000 Bengalla Cup (1280m) at Muswellbrook, his first starter at the track.
This is the 24th year that the Bengalla Mining Company has sponsored the meeting with the theme a family fun day including free entry. The track has been posted as a soft 5 but only because curator, Steve Bottomley, has been consistently irrigating: “That has stopped and by Sunday the track will be a good 4,” general manager, Duane Dowell, said.
Gask is in the process of setting up a training base outside Scone after a successful career in Adelaide which saw him train more than 250 winners before moving to England and train almost 200 winners from there. His overseas record included success with the top sprinter Medicean Man, a four-time Dubai winner while he also had success with horses in Ireland, Qatar, Germany and France.
Medicean Man came close to giving Gask his first Group One winner when he was beaten in a tight photo finish in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot three years ago. The decision to move back to Australia came after a virus went through a new stable he had moved to Danebury in Hampshire in 2016.
As Gask was trying to re-build he received a call from long-time Australian friend and client Michael Abdallah asking if he would like to return home and train for him again.
“The original plan was to set up a base near the coast and I made several trips back to look at places but we could not find anything that suited us,” Gask said. “Then this farm at Scone became available so Michael bought it and we moved back at the end of last year.”
Gask spent the first five months getting the place in order and did not have his first runner until May when Tim’s Principal ran second in a Class One at Scone. Three weeks later Gask took two horses, Tim’s Principal and Spirit Of Elijah, to Gosford and returned home with a winning double. Since then he has had another six runners for another win with Tim’s Principal, this time at Newcastle.
“We accepted with Tim’s Principal at Randwick on Saturday but he drew barrier 12 so I scratched him in preference to running at Muswellbrook,” Gask said. “Robbie Dolan won on him at Newcastle and has agreed to come up and ride him on Sunday.
“I think that eventually he will develop into a city horse but he is still doing a few things wrong. He is a five-year-old but has only had 13 starts and is still learning. He injured a tendon when he ran second in Adelaide last year when trained by John Macmillan and had 12 months off before he came to me.”
Abdallah is a well-known breeder and his weanlings and yearlings will go to Gask.
“As their careers progress any that look up to city company will go to the Hawkes team or to John Macmillan,” Gask said. “I don’t mind that. I have trained some good horses over the years and this is all part of the system. I am not looking to train large numbers.
“Most of the horses I prepare will be for Michael while I might take on a few outside clients. I am really enjoying the variety this is giving me and I love nothing better than jumping on the tractor not that there is much I can do until we get some rain.”
1-12.55, MUSWELLBROOK COAL COMPANY 3YO MAIDEN, 1000m: CONSTANZIA 1, Celosia 2, Thorn Brook 3, Airlie Avenue 4.
2-1.35, MUSWELLBROOK WORKERS CLUB MAIDEN, 1750m: HIGH FLIGHT 1, Orsum Dream 2, Sundayinmanhattan 3, Dominica 4.
3-2.15, MUSWELLBROOK CHRONICLE BENCHMARK 65, 1000m: LITTLE RED SHOES, Miss Casier 2, Barr Hill 3, He’s Our Toy Boy 4.
4-2.55, BJ’S WORKWEAR BENCHMARK 58, 1500m: THE BOHEMIAN 1, Bellabrook 2, New Endeavour 3, Dream Habit 4.
5-3.35, WEAR PARTS SERVICES CLASS ONE, 1280m: ONTHETAKE 1, Panzerfaust 2, Arugula 3, Panda’s Mr Nosey 4.
6-4.10, BENGALLA CUP, 1280m: TIM’S PRINCIPAL 1, Barricade 2, Marksfield 3, Ricci Royal 4.
7-4.45, MUSWELLBROOK COAL COMPANY CLASS ONE, 1000m: HEREDERO 1, Progression 2, Finne Realta 3, The Gun 4.
Best Bets: Little Red Shoes, Onthetake