An impressive win by No Compromise at Randwick on Saturday added extra lustre to a momentous day for the Thurlow family.
Previously trained by Bill Thurlow, and raced by his wife Patricia and brother Grant, the four-year-old Pins gelding crossed the Tasman a month ago to join Chris Waller’s stable.
After an eye-catching third on his Australian debut on May 15, No Compromise went two better on Saturday with a powerful come-from-behind performance in the hands of Tommy Berry in the Taylor Construction Handicap (2400m) to land the lion’s share of the AU$135,000 purse.
“My brother’s daughter was getting married in Tauranga on Saturday, so we all spent the day there and watched the race from there,” Thurlow said.
“It was a lovely day for the family, and it was a good night.
“The horse did a great job there at Randwick and won really well, so it was pretty exciting for all of us.”
Thurlow paid $40,000 at Karaka 2018 to buy No Compromise, who is a half-brother to the Group One-winning Ocean Park mare Tofane.
Bred and raised at Curraghmore, No Compromise showed promise with two wins and six placings from 12 starts in New Zealand, but he has more than doubled his career earnings in his two appearances since crossing the Tasman.
The Thurlow family hatched the Sydney plan after No Compromise finished third at Ellerslie in late April, and they reached out to Waller, who spent a short time working for Thurlow before launching his Hall of Fame training career.
“This horse had always shown us a bit of ability, and I thought he would make a good stayer in time,” Thurlow said.
“He’s got some good stamina in his pedigree.
“He’d always been hitting the line hard in all of his starts in New Zealand, but we didn’t think he particularly liked the heavy tracks that we get here. Sam O’Malley got off him after riding him in a couple of races and said he wasn’t comfortable at all in that wet ground.
“So before his race at Ellerslie, I suggested to my brother that he might want to try taking him over to Sydney. It wasn’t something that had occurred to him before, but he liked the idea.
“I just felt that Sydney racing drops off a little bit after The Championships. I’m not saying it’s weak by any stretch of the imagination – just that their very best horses tend to race during the carnival. If we were ever going to try him out in Sydney, just after The Championships would be the best time to do it.
“I spoke to Chris, who had a look at his tapes and decided that he was keen to take him on.
“Obviously it’s many years ago now that Chris came and did some work for us, but we’ve been in touch from time to time since then, and it’s worked out really well with this horse.”
With No Compromise performing so strongly in his first two Sydney starts, we may have seen the last of him on this side of the Tasman.
“Considering the way he’s run in his first couple of starts over there, I wouldn’t imagine he’d be coming back any time soon – if at all,” Thurlow said.
“The plan was always that he would come back home if he didn’t fire over there, and we’d carry on with him again in New Zealand. But he seems to be thriving in that environment in Sydney.
“I’m not sure what Chris has in mind for him from here, but he’s the one who’s in charge now, and I’m sure he’ll map something out over the weeks and months ahead.”