Successful owner Barrie Griffiths combined with co-trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra for a winning double at Caulfield on Saturday.
The wins with Off The Planet ($3.70) in the Zaidee Inspires Discussion Hcp (1200m) and Annlea ($7.50) in the Zaidee’s Rainbow Hcp (1400m), both ridden by Steven King, revealed how he came to have horses with Ellerton and Zahra.
“I had an interest in the stables, Hobsons Lodge, and they were paying us rent so I thought I’d better give them a horse,” Griffiths, who races all his horses with his wife Midge, said.
“That’s how it started, then they moved on track at Flemington and we were very happy so we stayed with them.
“They are very good young men and they tell it as it is.”
The Griffiths had great success with the Freedman brothers, winning 10 Group Ones with them with horses of the calibre of Melbourne Cup winner Tawrrific, Caulfield Cup winner Mannerism, Northwood Plume and Azzurro,
However their son-in-law Andrew Hine, who was the captain of the English polo team, dragged them away from racing for around six years as they went overseas to watch him play matches in countries such as England and Argentina.
“We went back to the racing about four years ago,” Griffiths said.
“We’ve got some lovely fillies at home at the farm and I get as much thrill at having them at home as I do on the racetrack.
“I feed them every day and look after them.”
The Griffiths sold part of Northwood Park, Seymour, to Darley and now live next door having retained part of the original property and bought an adjoining parcel of land.
“We don’t breed anymore. We just buy a filly or two with good help from Ian McPherson, George Smith and Matty (Ellerton),” Griffiths said.
The Griffiths currently race dual Group One winner Response, prepared by Ellerton and Zahra.
The Charge Forward mare won the 2010 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and the Sportingbet Classic (1200m) at Morphettville in March and is at $13 with TAB Sportsbet for next Sunday’s Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
Ellerton and Zahra also have the $6 favourite, Crystal Lily, engaged in the Goodwood.
The Griffiths had three runners at Caulfield with Invincible You ($2.80 fav) running third to Shylock’s Daughter in the National Patient Transport Hcp (2000m).