Early Signs Promising For A Gentle Reboot
Aug 14, 2014
By Carl Di Iorio in Winning Post
Experienced horseman Brian Gentle is in the midst of relaunching his training career at Bendigo in Victoria.
Gentle, who has been forman for four leading metropolitan stables, made the move after growing frustrated with his situation in New South Wales.
He had been training from Cobbitty, a town southwest of Sydney, and still working his horses at Rosehill since the start of the 2011/12 season. He juggled training duties with managing a pre training and breaking facility. Some of Sydneys leading trainers trusted Brian to pre train some of their gallopers including Guy Walter, Bjorn Baker, Gerald Ryan, Joe Pride and also syndicators Proven Thoroughbreds and Bluebloods thoroughbreds to name a few.
"I was keen to get a small number of boxes at Rosehill and I had clients that were keen to give me horses on the proviso I could train them from the track" Gentle told Winning Post.
"I was on the waiting list but others with a stronger profile were turning up and getting the boxes at Rosehill ahead of me. For a small trainer going forward, it was very difficult"
"But in the short time I've been in Bendigo, the people couldn't have been more accomodating" he added.
Gentle also believes the distribution of prize-money across Victorian racing will allow him to flourish.
"You can win a race in the country and still get the same money as a provincial race in Victoria. Incentives such as VOBIS gGold are also great.
"A number of the horses I train are owned by Victorian client, Whilst they were happy to race them in Sydney. It's beneficial to come down here and be around them"
Gentle has worked in the racing industry for 25 years. He was born in Orange and his father, Bruce, was a successful jockey around the Blue Mountains district before retiring in the early 1970's and turning his attention to training,a career that lasted until August 1999.
Gentle gained his start in racing as a stablehand for Gerald Ryan on the Gold Coast, eventually working his way up to be stable foreman. Stints followed with Mick Price, Gai Waterhouse and John O'Shea before Gentle went out on his own.
"Racing To Win was the best horse I dealt with. He was a little dumb yearling when I joined the (O'Shea) stable and I grew with him until he won the Doncaster as a three year old and ran in the Cox Plate".
Gentle trained 11 winners last season, with 29 per cent of his horses running in the first three placings. Among the winners was 4 3/4-length Canterbury maiden winner Aboutogobang, who will remain in Sydney.
"He's got a bit of talent but there are other horses, many unraced, that have come down with me to Bendigo so hopefully they'll be able to fill the void," Gentle said.
With a dozen horses in work, Gentle is keen to see that number increase to about 20 by the end of this season. Gentle is in good form, with four of his past 10 starters winning. His first Victorian runners are likely to be at Wangaratta and Bendigo on August 23 and 24.