Busuttin stables and Dingley Hotel

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November 4th 2018
Published: November 4th 2018
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Visit to Busuttin Racing StablesVisit to Busuttin Racing StablesVisit to Busuttin Racing Stables

Today we got a fascinating insight into the world of thoroughbred race horse training.
Today we headed out into the country (around 40 minutes) to Cranbourne race track and the thoroughbred racing stables of former Kiwi trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young - Busuttin Racing. It was a unique opportunity to have a look around the stables, get some 'inside knowledge' and have a word to the 'stars' of the show. There's a huge training complex at the race course and Busuttin Racing are one of four trainers currently based there. Trent and Natalie have 70 horses in their care and their training operation is considered a small one. The leading Australian trainers have up to 700 horses in their stables.

We had full access to the stables and got to walk around pat the horses, have a chat with them and generally soak up the atmosphere. Trent gave us a really informative rundown on the operation and Natalie and the staff where happy to answer any questions people had. They also brought three of their stable stars out of their boxes to walk around while we got the low down on their achievements and what they had in front of them, Brief run down:

Sully - Impressive grey 4 year old who
Sully - she's a little cracker!Sully - she's a little cracker!Sully - she's a little cracker!

What a cool horse she is, super friendly and with lovely manners. She's got genuinely ability and I look forward to watching her career as it develops.
ran second in last years Derby, runs again this Saturday and will be tough to beat. She was a cool dude (technically dudess) I hope she nails the win.

King of Camelot - just out of quarantine after arriving from France and a big black brute who was a real handful for guy leading him around.Black book him for next years Melbourne Cup. He was feisty, arrogant and stroppy very french indeed! New Zealand has always had a world wide reputation for producing top stayers however with the success of European raiders to Australia over recent years trainers/investors are looking more to Europe which isn't so good for us. Big wraps on this fellow.

Maracaibo - will run in Group 1 Oaks at Flemington on Thursday. She'll go out hard and be a great sight as she should turn into home straight at the head of the field. She lacks the brilliance of the top 3 Year old fillies in the race though so will likely get over run in the straight. at $20's a win and $4's a place she could be worth a sneaky place bet. There was some good banter as one of the guys
Excuse me Mrs...Excuse me Mrs...Excuse me Mrs...

Can I have a swig of your coffee please :)!
on our tour bred and owns the favourite for the race Verry Ellleegant. To be at her best she needs a hot pace so she can storm home from the back - the likely Maracaibo tactics was music to his ears! Verry Elleegant is definitely a good bet despite failing on Derby Day when she should have won - will drift at tote on that so could be at tasty odds relative to her ability.

It was just awesome to be amoungst passionate racing people, especially those operating at the elite level like Busuttin Racing. Trent and Natalie are great people, despite being in the middle of the Cup Carnival their busiest and most important time of the year they allowed us full access to the stables and even had a supply of complementary cup cakes and refreshments for anyone who wanted them - I did!

From there we headed to the Dingley Hotel owned by former top Kiwi jockey Gary Willett. The hotel is located midway between the Stables and Melbourne city. In our mind we had small country hotel but in reality it was a massive complex with huge separate accommodation block. two restaurants, big outdoor
Tapanui a Southland connection?Tapanui a Southland connection?Tapanui a Southland connection?

With a name like that there has to be one! This bloke was probably the friendliest of them all (a typical Southlander through and through), we had a good chat and a long pat - he did try to eat my jersey though!
dining area and as befits a former top jockey's pub a very impressive TAB (and a decent sized pokie room). Lunch was great, Des (Coppins) interviewed Gary about his time as a jockey, the top horses he rode, his move form New Zealand to Australia and his favourite track (which just happens to be the champagne turf at Trentham). Gary also gave us a couple of tips for Cup Day: Race 3 No 10 Fifty Stars and Race 6 No 12 Mirette. In the Cup he likes No 11 Yucatan (ridden by top Kiwi hoop James McDonald), No 13 Finche (wide draw to contend with), No 9 Marmelo, No 17 Prince of Arran (really rates jockey former Kiwi Michael Walker), won big race on Saturday to make field needs to back up 3 days later.

We headed back to base via a very pleasant coastal drive where we saw some lovely landscape and very impressive homes. Quiet night in tonight after another very enjoyable day.

Additional photos below
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Dingley HotelDingley Hotel
Dingley Hotel

Photo shows just part of a very impressive complex.

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