At first it was a cab driver from Queanbeyan who rode his luck to the top of the racing game.
And now it is a concrete renderer who is latest part-time trainer from the southern NSW town hoping to make a name for himself with a small team of racehorses.
Joe Janiak drove taxis before Takeover Target came along and took him on a journey to the world’s best racecourses and put more than $6 million into his bank account.
Garry Clarke isn’t expecting Oh So Adorable to end up winning at Royal Ascot but he likes her chances of giving him his first city winner at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
“I’ve been beaten in photos, running seconds, so I’m hoping tomorrow is the day,” he said.
“I just train horses as a hobby and I only train one or two at a time.”
Advertised for sale among a variety of livestock and pets in the classifieds section of a Sydney daily newspaper, Oh So Adorable has returned almost $100,000 on the $8000 Clarke and his father paid for the filly as a weanling.
After racing in the Camarena Quality at Canberra and the Wellington Town Plate in her first two starts after a spell, Oh So Adorable takes on three-year-old fillies in the TAB Quaddie Handicap.
Clarke will use apprentice Winona Costin’s 3kg claim to offset Oh So Adorable’s 61kg.
Just as Oh So Adorable’s background is bordering on the obscure, promising stayer Vayakhan will make his city debut boasting a profile that is well exposed thanks to the horse he finished behind at the beginning of his career in France.
“He ran second and third in his first two starts to Intello and that horse ran third in last year’s Arc (de Triomphe),” trainer David Vandyke said.
Vayakhan broke through at Newcastle to be one of the favourites for the Get Racy Handicap (2200m).
The four-year-old is nominated for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Sydney Cup and a dominant display could force Vandyke to revise autumn plans.
Leading jockey Christian Reith will not ride at the meeting because he has flown to Singapore to be at the bedside of his close friend Nathan Berry.