An era ended at Canterbury on Wednesday when Grahame Begg saddled up the final runners from his Randwick stable.
There was no fairytale farewell – Roquessa finished fifth and Bridge Of Sighs down the track – but there were fond memories revived of Begg’s best gallopers.
Begg announced last month he would be closing the stables he had taken over when his father and fellow trainer Neville, moved to Hong Kong in 1990.
It was something he and his wife Sue had been considering for some time but Begg said the finality of the decision had yet to sink in.
“It will probably hit me in the next few weeks,” Begg said.
Begg started out working for his father during a period when the stable had champion mare Emancipation and top class gallopers Dalmacia and Heat Of The Moment.
When he was 29, his father moved to Hong Kong and Begg took over the Randwick operation.
He won a total of 14 Group One races and was rarely without a stakes-class horse in his stable but rated All Silent and Telesto as his best.
“I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of good horses over the years,” Begg said.
“Probably being able to set a horse for a major carnival and pull it off was always a very big achievement from anybody’s point of view.”
Begg is also proud of Monopolize’s trail-blazing wins in the Hong Kong Bowl in 1995-96.
While Wednesday’s meeting held mixed emotions, there are a few things Begg won’t miss about training at Randwick.
“I’m looking forward to sleeping in a bit,” he said.
Nor has he closed the door on training altogether.
While he plans to enjoy a break for the next couple of months, Begg says he is exploring training opportunities locally and overseas.