Lessons learned over a quarter of a century from a Hall Of Fame trainer have stuck with Simone Ferchie.
Now a trainer in her own right, Ferchie headed to the property of four-time Melbourne Cup winner George Hanlon on the outskirts of Geelong as a 14-year-old in the mid-1980s and is still there.
Hanlon died in 2010 but Ferchie is still adopting the same approach he instilled in her over all those years.
Those methods have resulted in stable star Lord Durante winning three city races and he heads to Flemington on Saturday to contest the David Bourke Provincial Plate (1610m).
Class horses, the calibre of Prince Salieri, Mr Prudent and Royal Snack, to name a few, were prepared from Hanlon’s property with Ferchie having a strong hand in their training.
Royal Snack won four successive Moe Cups and took Ferchie to the Hong Kong international races where in three attempts he did not finish further back than fourth, despite not winning.
“I spent a lot of my time interstate with his (Hanlon’s) horses,” Ferchie said.
“I was foreman for him for I don’t know how long and then assistant trainer.”
Hanlon was famous for following his horses in a car as they galloped on the rolling hills on his property and that’s about the only thing Ferchie has not adopted.
Instead she gauges how her horses are progressing by riding them herself.
Hanlon and Lord Durante’s jockey Darren Gauci were a successful combination in many feature races and Ferchie said the veteran hoop suited her horses.
“He does what you ask if he possibly can,” she said.
Ferchie has planned a Provincial Plate assault with Lord Durante over recent months but admits the second widest draw makes it extremely tough.
“The last few years it’s been a bit weaker than it is this year,” she said.
“We’ve copped a good field and a bad barrier, but he’ll do his best as he always does.”
Lord Durante enters the Provincial Plate off a last-start fourth in a heat of the Winter Championship at Bendigo on June 11 and is a $13 chance in an open betting race with Kenjorwood the $3.80 favourite.