Racehorse trainer Steve Englebrecht’s professional mantra is simple: quality over quantity.
The Warwick Farm-based Englebrecht has just seven horses in his team, four of which will be racing at their home track meeting on Saturday.
But he doesn’t mind being the David to industry Goliaths like Gai Waterhouse, Peter Snowden and Chris Waller.
“I’ve beat them before,” he said.
He says being a smaller operation means he can work one-on-one with each horse and get right “in their face”.
“It’s impossible for them to have that intimate knowledge of their animal because they’ve got so many,” he said.
But he admits it can be hard to keep pace with the bigger trainers given their access to top-tier talent.
“They use the best jockeys, the best of everything – because they’re so big they can dominate.”
Snitzel gelding Malavio is expected to lead Englebrecht’s charge on Saturday when he resumes in the Group Three Liverpool City Cup (1300m) with the trainer hopeful the horse can repeat his Tramway Stakes (1400m) win in September.
“He’s reached his potential – we’ve just got to maintain that. That’s the trick,” Englebrecht said.
He is also keen to see Malavio’s half-sister She’s A Girl return for her latest campaign in the Wiggle Stakes, a race he hopes will act as a platform for something better.
“She’s nominated in all the big races but she’s got to qualify. If you’re not in them you can’t win them,” he said.
Retort Courteous and Lucky Lucky Lucky will round out the trainer’s Warwick Farm contingent when they contest benchmark races.
Meanwhile, Englebrecht says he’s planning to rest Reply Churlish after a disappointing run at Canterbury on Wednesday.
He had hoped to aim her at next month’s Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) but she will instead be spelled.
Englebrecht isn’t too concerned about being one horse down – call it quality control.
“I’m very lucky. I’ve got a nice lot of horses which probably makes me look good.”