Glenn Old has had little time to bask in the glory of his Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) win with Bizzwinkle.
He did get to celebrate the milestone victory on Saturday evening with most of Bizzwinkle’s syndicate of owners from Matamata, Hamilton and Tauranga. But no sooner had he welcomed the current stable star off the float back at his Matamata property on Monday morning than he was preparing for a busy few days.
Like many trainers, Old is gearing up for the annual Ready to Run Sale at Karaka on Wednesday and Thursday and once again he hopes to be busy on the buyers’ bench. As well as making his mark locally as a trainer, Old is well-known for his achievements buying and pre-training horses for the Asian market.
“I’ve got 25 horses in work and about 80 percent of my business is for Asian clients,” he said.
“My job is to get them up and trialling and ready to be sent up to either Hong Kong, Singapore or Macau.
“We’ve been buying from the Ready to Run sale for the last few years and I’ve got buying orders for Asia again. Hopefully we can get eight to 10 horses.
“We’ve had a lot of winners over the years and there’s some nice ones racing up there at present. One of them, a Jimmy Choux named Noble Delight, has won his last two for John Size and looks pretty smart.”
The Ready to Run Sale was the reason Eion Kemp, part-owner of Bizzwinkle, missed being at Riccarton for the New Zealand Cup. Kemp will offer 27 two-year-olds at the Karaka sale under his Kilgravin Lodge banner and he has been busy putting the final touches on his squad. Kemp bought Bizzwinkle, a son of Rip Van Winkle, as a yearling to resell at the 2015 Ready to Run Sale.
“Unfortunately he didn’t get sold so Eion asked me to take him to trade off the track, but he didn’t have enough speed for the Asian market,” Old said.
“I liked him so I agreed to put a syndicate together to race him.”
Old trains his team from the property adjacent to the Matamata racecourse and also uses the facilities, including a private track, on the nearby farm of his brother, equine dentist Mark (“Pinky”), to educate the young horses.
“It works in well as apart from the young horses I do for Asia, I also pre-train some for Chris Waller,” Old said.
“I’ve got no more than six of my own in work. It’s too hard to make a living from training on its own. I need to have the Asian business.”
Old continually churns out some handy horses locally with Bizzwinkle being joined by Our King Sway, the Group 3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) winner last year and a four-time black-type placegetter, and such promising gallopers as Hay Tiger and Window Shopping.
“I’m very selective in what I keep to train,” Old said.
“I’m happy with the team I’ve got and to win the New Zealand Cup has topped it all off. “It’s not my biggest win, but it’s right up there at the top being such a time-honoured race.” Old’s most important win as a trainer came with Our Famous Eve in the 2013 Group 2 Japan Trophy (1600m) at Tauranga. “She was a top mare,” he said.
“As well as winning the Group 2, she was twice Group 1 placed. Unfortunately we never got to see the best of her. She had her career cut short through a tendon injury.” Old is now planning his next big mission with Bizzwinkle.
“He’ll have 10 days to freshen-up then he’ll have one lead-up run and go for the Wellington Cup,” he said.
“He’s nominated for the Auckland Cup, but if he happened to win the Wellington Cup he’d be too far up in the ratings so he could go out for a spell and we’ll look at Melbourne next season for him.
“There are plenty of good staying races over 3000m and further over there for him. He doesn’t need to go for the big cups.”