The racing manager for Nathan Tinkler has become the latest casualty of Patinack Farm’s decision to scale back its racetrack interests.
Robyn Hartney, a key Tinkler appointment when John Thompson took over the training of the Patinack Farm racing team in September 2009, is one of four employees of the once flourishing thoroughbred business who have left in the past week.
While more than 200 Patinack jobs were saved on Thursday when liquidators of Patinack Farm Administration came to an agreement with management, Hartney’s departure comes less than seven days after chief executive Peter Beer parted ways with Patinack Farm.
The company’s Randwick office, central to much of the decision making on the day-to-day running of its three-state racing operation, has been closed.
“There have been a lot of changes made to the racing side of the business,” Hartney told AAP.
“The closure of the Randwick office is the latest in these changes and is part of the downsizing of Patinack’s racing presence.”
In spite of the high-profile stable’s parlous financial state, Tinkler’s colours were carried to Group One victory on All Too Hard and Nechita during the Melbourne spring carnival.
While the Melbourne arm of his stable has since closed, Tinkler’s Sydney yard produced two city winners from as many starters last weekend.
Hartney, who joined Patinack after working for leading trainer Gai Waterhouse, said she had nothing but admiration for the loyalty shown by Thompson and his Sydney stable employees.
“I’ve had a fantastic time working with John,” she said. “And his staff have displayed so much professionalism in obviously what are very difficult circumstances.”
Thompson revealed the extent of the financial strain on Tinkler’s racing operation after Nechita won the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington earlier this month.
“I’ve gone weeks without vets, farriers, bedding and ran out of feed a number of times,” he said.
Reports surfaced on Friday saying Racing NSW stewards had inspected Patinack Farm’s stables at Randwick racecourse to check on the welfare of the horses in work.
A Federal Court ruling on Wednesday against Patinack Farm Administration came just a day after another of Tinkler’s companies, Mulsanne Resources, was placed into liquidation.