Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Graham Potter | Sunday, December 9, 2012

The win itself, as emphatic as it was, might not have raised many eyebrows, but when jockey Ric McMahon pushed the $1.90 favourite St Darci to a three-and-a-half length win at Caloundra last week the result did provide something of a landmark win for the Meagher racing stable.

St Darci was the first winner in Queensland for the John, Daniel and Christopher Meagher training partnership!

The fact that they duly followed up with a second winner at the midweek meeting at Doomben, where Hannibal Ad Portas saluted, confirmed that the stable’s ‘warming up’ process was well underway after a patient and measured introduction into their new environment.

In punting terms the stable is one for the notebook.

It was always going to be that way considering the credentials they bring to the table.

John Meagher has trained no less twenty-six Group 1 winners which includes a Melbourne Cup success with What A Nuisance for owner Lloyd Williams in front of Prince Charles and Diana in 1985.

Having built a reputation in keeping with his array of feature race winners and his level of success in turning around ‘difficult’ horses, as well as his ever-consistent prominence in the Victorian Trainers’ Premiership, Meagher took the bold decision to move to Singapore in 1999.

There he found almost instant success when Kim Angel, who was partnered by Mick Dittman, won the prestigious $1,250,000 Singapore Gold Cup in his first year overseas.

Eleven years and nearly six hundred winners later Meagher headed back to Australia or, more particularly, to Queensland, but not before setting the foundation for the plan he was intending to allow to unfold to secure the stable’s future.

In the last four years in Singapore Meagher, while still being the main overseer of stable fortunes, allowed his three sons to take on greater roles within the stable with a view to establishing a family training partnership.

Daniel and Chris, now officially co-trainers , and Paul, who looks after the stable’s pre-training, all grasped their opportunity with both hands and an effective team gelled into place.

Clearly, Singapore’s loss is Queensland’s gain.

“Dad took a little bit of a risk after being the boss all of his life when he gave Chris and I the opportunity to step up and have a go at training” explained Daniel Meagher.

“We did … and we've got Paul who is just the hardest worker out of all of us. He just does everything needed on the ground level.

“Queensland is treating us well. I can tell you, the people … the trainers … Rob Heathcote, Tony Gollan, Liam Birchley, Dan Bougoure … they are really good blokes. We have coffee together.

“In Asia it’s a lot more competitive. It’s a different market. It’s all about betting. It’s all about … what is he doing? How is he training that horse?

“Here, it is a bit more relaxed. You are doing your own thing and you get along with everybody.

“I’ve never seen dad so happy in all of his life with other competitors. Normally he is a little bit more fearsome.

“We’ve currently got twenty-two in work. I’m sure once we get a couple of winners, we’ll build on that.

“Right now though, we are pretty happy.”

So it is that a positive force has arrived in Queensland racing.

Like I said, one for the notebook!

More articles

Graham Potter
Graham Potter
Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily which appears every Sunday. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily. They can be found on the relevant publish dates, going back every Sunday, under the blog section of the site.
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best