By Geoff Newling
Shay Brennan is preparing for a fun start to the New Year when Tamworth Jockey Club stages an eight-race TAB meeting on Friday. The Tamworth builder has been a sponsor of the TJC for the past four or five years and delighted with the package arranged and presented to him by the TJC.
Friday’s $20,000 Shay Brennan Constructions Benchmark 60 Handicap (2100m) is the third race of the day at 3.10pm and offers a field of nine. Shay, a keen racegoer and owner, thinks Ima Baker, a gelding trained by Brett Thompson, might be hard to beat as well after drawing barrier four in the staying race.
“He might have won the race I sponsored here last time too,” Shay Brennan laughed. “It’s a good race though. And it’s a good meeting this one, I’ve got a few mates who are school teachers and I have the day off to go and enjoy it.
“I do enjoy the racing, had a few horses in my day too. Tamworth Jockey Club does a good job, we’ve got a good package and Kay (general manager Kay Jeffrey) does well too. She seems to be right on the ball.”
Shay doesn’t have anything racing at the moment but would love nothing better than to find a horse like “Pep” did. “Love to get one like Pep’s,” he said of Tamworth’s Andrew Peiper who has a 5% share in Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign. “Or like Steve Fletcher’s horse Redzel (Everest winner). That would be great. They’re both having a great time with their horses.”
Shay has had his moments too and has the Iluka Cup on his mantelpiece at home he won with a horse called Little Bandy. “Pete Shanahan trained him,” he said. “Timmy Martin had him first off and he won at Scone at $21. That was a great day but then he got injured.”
Pete Shanahan took over as trainer and won an Iluka Cup with him as well as four or five others. “He won again at Scone and paid $19. They were great days.”
Friday won’t be as enthusiastic for Shay and wife Jacqueline but they will be up in the John Clift Room with a few friends celebrating the New Year and maybe even salute Ima Baker winning a Shay Brennan Constructions Handicap for maybe a second time.