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By Graham Potter | Friday, February 4, 2022

There are so many different ways a plan can come together in terms of selecting a horse, arranging its ownership, getting it to the races … and winning … and the story behind Vienna Empress, trainer Melissa Taylor’s latest winner, makes interesting reading in that regard.

“When you pick them out of the sales and then educate them and then they win … it’s really good,” said Taylor. “I bought Vienna Empress at the March QTIS Sales and she has won twice now.

“At one point in time she had to be one of the unluckiest maidens around bumping into some good ones. She ran second at Ipswich … beaten by a lip by Me Me Lagarde who went on to run second in the $2 Million Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Guineas.

“She ran third behind Sweet Dolly and Glorious Ruby in the Jewel Prelude and, while she was probably not up to that calibre, she was consistently competitive in placing behind those horses.

“I think she is a little beauty."

The ownership group would probably agree … and, if you talk about racing being a game of chance, the way this particular ownership group came about certainly underlines the chance aspect of what happens in racing … not just on the track, but off it as well.

“The horse is sixty percent owned by Hong Kong owners … who I have never met … and there are others in there including Karen and Mike Sparkes who have been supporters of mine from the start, along with David Cherry. I really appreciate their support.”

If Taylor has never met the Hong Kong owners, how did that connection come about?

“Funnily enough, Dale (Smith) and I were out for dinner at a restaurant at Chermside one evening. There was a waiter there who was heavily involved in racing in Malaysia. Dale had a stint of riding in Malaysia going back some time and this fella was a trainer that Dale had ridden for in Malaysia.

“He recognised Dale after all of those years, and he said that the boss of the restaurant was interested in horses and obviously they had friends and relatives who were wanting to be involved in racing as well … and did we know anybody who had any opportunities available to purchase horses.

‘With that, they purchased sixty percent of Vienna Empress and it just carried on from there.

“I’ve got a couple of more horses from them. They purchased a horse for me … I think it was at the June sale last year … a Flying Artie colt which is due to come into work in the next couple of weeks.

“I’ve got a Snitzel colt there that they purchased from Gerald Ryan after he didn’t quite come up to the mark in Sydney. So, yeah, things have moved along nicely with them.

“I have yet to meet the Hong Kong owners, but they keep in touch with me via email. They are very supportive. They are great to have as part of the stable.”

It’s not every day you can go into a restaurant to order noodles and get to takeaway a whole new set of owners to enhance your training business … but hey, racing’s book is filled with stories of random situations on which fortunes can turn.

You just have to seize the opportunity when it is offered to you.

More articles

Dale Smith celebrate the latest win of Vienna Empress ... and,yeas, there would have been celebrations in Hong Kong as well ...
Dale Smith celebrate the latest win of Vienna Empress ... and,yeas, there would have been celebrations in Hong Kong as well ...

... and it also made a young strapper very happy

Photos: Graham Potter
... and it also made a young strapper very happy

Photos: Graham Potter
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