IT’S easy to envisage Tasmania as a springboard rather than a permanent base for Adam Trinder.
The articulate ex-champion jumps jockey just seems too “big’’, his trajectory too steep, to remain in his beloved home state where he is chasing down his first premiership in just his fourth year of training.
But Trinder, whose 53 wins for the season has him just nine in arrears of the dominant Bruntons, is going somewhere but also nowhere. He’s more than happy to become a big fish in a small pond and reckons that small pond is deeper than most on the mainland probably think.
“Tassie racing’s going pretty good,’’ he said, adding the key was economy of scale.
“You can run around here in $10,000 races and the owner’s bill is $2800 a month rather than five grand or more on the mainland,’’ he said.
“The most I’ve ever paid for a horse is $40,000. Most are in the $15,000 to $25,000 mark and for that money you can still buy a nice horse, at least one nice enough to race successfully down here.’’
Trinder said most of his clients were mainlanders who were searching for A-grade service at relatively cheap cost with horses who were probably a length or so from being competitive in Melbourne.
He has plans to expand, just not beyond Bass Strait.
“I reckon I’m a pretty inventive trainer. We’re always trying to think outside the square a bit to get the best out of our horses. I’m eyeing a beach stable down the road to try to do a bit of a Darren Weir-type satellite thing,’’ he said.
The Trinders are part of the rich fabric of Tasmanian racing.
Adam Trinder’s grandfather, Ray, trained and was owner of the 1972 Melbourne Cup winner Piping Lane. His father, Michael, still trains down there and for many years used the Apple Isle as a launching pad to the great jumps races of Melbourne, where he won the Hiskens Steeplechase four times.
Adam became a successful Melbourne-based jumps jockey more than a decade ago, winning most of our top races at least once, but his story is a proudly Tasmanian one.
As a 15-year-old, for instance, Trinder rode 100-1 shot Eager Prince into second in a Launceston Cup.
Within three generations there has never been an urge for a Trinder to relocate to the mainland and it’s never stopped them from making an impact.
Trinder successfully campaigned Valiant Warrior in Melbourne last spring and plonked interestingly named Jerilderie Letter on the Spirit Of Tasmania on Tuesday night for his “test run’’ at Caulfield on Saturday.
He arrived at the Plumpton stables of Trinder’s old mate Patrick Payne, where Trinder has been guest for the last few days. A photo of Payne (Desert Heiress) beating Trinder (Charnwood Green) in a jumps race Moonee Valley in 2007 has hung on the kitchen wall as the two young trainers talked shop over breakfast and dinner.
Jerilderie Letter, a son of Bushranger, is arguably Tasmania’s most exciting galloper and a typical Trinder rags to riches story; a former $11,000 yearling whose sequence of wins through summer included a Tasmanian Derby defeat of subsequent SA Derby winner Howard Be Thy Name.
Jerilderie Letter is a $13 chance in a 1400m race for three-year-olds at Caulfield on Saturday.
He will carry topweight and start from the second outside gate; a stiff task.
But the fact he is here is a tip in itself.
Trinder says he “hates to lose’’ and doesn’t like wasting $1300 for a return boat trip on horses who can’t recoup costs.
“He’s a pretty serious horse,’’ he said. “He stretched to 2200m to beat Howard Be Thy Name but he’s probably a miler. He’s got a very serious turn of foot.’’
Trinder’s conservative target for Jerilderie Letter is Tassie summer carnival, where he won a string of feature races with mainland discard Youthful Jack in 2012, “which pretty much launched my career”.
There is a second plan, however. It represents the ultimate goal for any trainer, least of all one whose stables are located on the “other’’ side of Bass Strait, at Devonport.
“I’ve got a feeling he might be a bit better than Tassie carnival grade — we might look at some races in Melbourne maybe in October or November,’’ he said.
C/o Herald Sun