Getting to know you: Lindy Wharekura
We caught up with Snowden Racing foreman Lindy Wharekura to talk Redzel, babies and life at Snowden Racing!
You’ve worked alongside Peter during his time with Darley and now at Snowden Racing as foreman, tell us a little about your role and what your day might consist of.
I started working for Peter at Darley in December 2008, and this Christmas will mark nine years we have worked together. I started as a stable hand there and progressed to an assistant foreman. I decided to make the move to Randwick with Peter and Paul because I felt there was a greater opportunity to progress working for them.
We’ve been open here at Randwick for three and a half years now and I’d have to say, for the most part, it has been an amazing experience and this position has helped me to grow as a manager and as a horse person.
I am now a foreman at Snowden Racing and, as I’ve been with the team the longest, I fill in everywhere with everything related to the stable. I’m currently running the smallest barn at Snowden Racing which contains 18 horses and consists mostly of two-year-olds.
Generally every morning I organise strappers and riders for the next horses that need to go down to the track. It helps us get the horses down faster and more efficiently.
Afternoons are just about getting the horses out for a little bit of exercise.
What’s the best part of your role?
I love working with babies and watching them develop into little race horses, that is the enjoyment I get every day.
Who is your favourite Triple Crown horse?
It’s hard to say which Triple Crown horse I like the most, but I adore Delfuego (pictured with Lindy below)! Onslaught is another one I have a lot of time for, and of the young ones I really like Misteed (Exceed And Excel x Vital Mist filly). Obviously Richie (Redzel) is very special to all of us! That goes without saying.
What’s your most memorable moment at Snowden Racing?
That’s a hard one to pin point! There have been so many highlights. Shooting To Win and Capitalist winning their Group races are up there. But for me personally, I got a huge kick out of That’s A Good Idea winning the Ortensia Stakes at Scone, smashing the track record. A horse I hold very close to my heart.
There’s a lot of excitement brewing in the Team Snowden and Triple Crown camp right now with Redzel heading to The Everest on October 14, and we reckon you have a large part to do with it! Talk us through #RichieForTheEverest – Did you ever imagine we’d be here, three days out from Redzel contesting the richest sprint race in the world?
When Richie won the Mumm stakes in Melbourne last year, and the concept of the Everest was being thrown about, I had a sneaky thought that this could be our Everest horse! And so the hash tag #RichieForTheEverest came about!
I had faith, a very long time ago!
As the hashtag suggests, Redzel is affectionately known as ‘Richie’ in the yard. How did Redzel get the nickname?
When he originally arrived at Snowden Racing my good friend Briar was set to look after him, and we knew the horse had come from Gerald Ryan’s with a good rap and he was a very good looking colt. So, being typical Kiwis, we decided to name him Richie, after the greatest ever captain of the greatest ever team, Richie McCaw! And it just so happens that there is also a connection with Millrich, his dam.
Redzel looks to have gone to another level this preparation after winning his maiden Group 1 in the Doomben 10,000 last time in. Was he always destined for Group 1 glory?
We believed he was always destined for glory. He’s always been a very straight forward horse, there’s no drama, or hassle. Like all horses, he has his little behavioral patterns, and like all the best race horses, he is very intelligent.
It’s an exciting time of year as we head into spring. What’s the mood in the stable like?
I honestly can’t remember the last time the whole stable was buzzing with excitement! It’s very similar to Golden Slipper week. To have a very real chance in a $10,000,000 race is so surreal! It’s what we work hard for 365 days a year!
We are also set to see our first two-year-olds take to the track this season. What are the various challenges they have to get through before they arrive at the races?
Two year old racing is awesome; I really enjoy that part of my role. Teaching them the right way to do things, spending that little bit of extra time with them, giving them good experiences so they are never scared of anything! Straightforward babies, who take everything in their stride, are usually the ones who win early two year old races. The best part of my job is to make sure our babies are the most straightforward.