Edwin Batt has worn many hats during his career with one constant, the odd racehorse or two.
Growing up on the family farm in the south midlands of Tasmania, Batt has always had an involvement with horses.
‘Elwick Eddie’ as he was known through his association with radio program Punter To Punter during the 1980s and 90s, Batt was a magistrate and barrister in Melbourne before returning to Tasmania following the death of his father.
In Victoria, Batt combined legal work with horse training having success on country tracks with Arden Street and Sworn To Secrecy while he was also president of the Drouin Racing Club.
With former Victoria Racing Club chief steward Pat Lalor, the pair was instrumental in reviving the struggling picnic racing scene to the stage where it’s now thriving.
With three horses in work, Batt returns to Flemington on Saturday to run three-year-old Monmouth in the Henry Bolte Handicap (2000m).
“A mate of mine Brendan McShane got me a free trip to the Inglis Ready To Run Sales in Sydney,” Batt said.
“It was all laid on for us, free beer, free air tickets, free accommodation and we both bought horses we couldn’t afford.”
Monmouth has won two of his past four starts, his latest win over 2100m on heavy ground late last month.
“We thought he might have been a Derby candidate here in Tassie but he had a bit of a fight with a fence,” Batt said.
“He’s come back after that this preparation and is racing really well so we thought we’d give him a crack on the mainland.”
Batt said he would prefer a longer trip for Monmouth on Saturday noting it will give him an idea of where he sits among the three-year-old stayers.
“The problem with Tasmanian horses going over is twofold,” he said.
“First they’ve got to travel over but to decide if your horse is good enough you sometimes have to test them and maybe go to the bottom of the well.”
Batt sayd he knows how his horses are faring by how they are working around the farm.
“They chase the sheep with me and if the sheep are pulling away, you know you’re not doing too well,” he said.