Jo McKinnon Column

On welfare, racing needs to achieve where it has been unsuccessful before – with a national, co-ordinated approach

The much anticipated thoroughbred welfare report released last week by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG) was outstanding. Appropriately entitled “The Most Important Participant’, the 46 well-thought-out recommendations within it were absolutely spot on. A number of the report’s concluding statements came as no surprise to many, with welfare challenges facing the industry labelled... Read More

Overflowing Hunter Valley braces itself for more rainfall

With a whopping 242mm of rain falling in Scone for the month of November, the highest amount ever recorded for this time of year, something eventually had to give and late last week the country’s breeding capital’s surrounding rivers and creeks ran bankers causing 48 hours of mayhem for some of the area’s biggest stud... Read More

Yearlings contend with ‘worst in decades’ flooding in Hunter

In recent days parts of Australia’s thoroughbred breeding heartland in the Hunter Valley of NSW were hit by the worst rain event experienced in decades.  The deluge caused flash flooding and serious disruption to some of the region’s biggest farms, including Willow Park Stud located just outside of Scone, whose draft of yearlings are the... Read More

Willow Park – A yearling’s journey

This week, Jo McKinnon paid a visit to Willow Park Stud in the Hunter Valley to take a first-hand look at the progress of their draft of ten yearlings being prepared for the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Jo spoke with stud manager Jade Rossington as the youngsters that have now been in... Read More

Ellis happy he put his faith in dominant Richards

“If there is one thing I truly enjoy in life, it is identifying young talent.  Giving it the opportunity to grow and develop, and realise its potential.” Those are the words of New Zealand racing supremo David Ellis, the man behind the all-conquering tangerine army of Te Akau Racing, and they were spoken in reference... Read More

McDonald the horseman with the Midas touch after record-breaking Carnival

There was a poignant moment in the half-hour leading up to the running of this year’s Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) that signalled James McDonald was quite possibly about to enjoy the ride of his life on Verry Elleegant (Zed). It occurred when the horses were made to hold up as they emerged from the... Read More