Jo McKinnon Column

Ugly duckling earns champion status while her sire is regarded as a one-hit wonder

A wayward, plain, angular looking mare by a little known stallion in New Zealand called Zed (Zabeel), there wasn’t too much hoo ha when Verry Elleegant first arrived on the Australian racing scene back in the spring of 2018. She hardly boasted a glittering racetrack resume having won a rating 65 race at Matamata before... Read More

The rise and rise of Incentivise proves patience and persistence pays off

While there’s plenty of hype surrounding Australian racing’s latest superstar Incentivise (Shamus Award), the winner of Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Flemington, we shouldn’t lose the lesson in it all about the importance of patience and perseverance in the thoroughbred game. Long before his racing days had even begun, Incentivise was just... Read More

Willa Mitchell: the 18-year-old who is making the most out of being in lockdown 

When racing gets into the blood, the passion ends up running so deep it flows on like an incurable addiction from one family generation to the next. We’ve seen this through the racing dynasties that have formed during the past century – the likes of the Cummings and Hayes families and the Freedmans. On the... Read More

Being Billy Healey

Being entrusted as the new trainer of former top class three-year-old Alligator Blood (All Too Hard) could be viewed one of two ways. It’s either a poisoned chalice or the opportunity of a lifetime. Queensland horseman Billy Healey sees it as a chance to silence the horse’s growing legion of knockers and also as an... Read More

Rothfire on the road to recovery

The comeback story of Rothfire (Rothesay) is the stuff we rejoice in, particularly in these tough and uncertain times where we could all do with something to give us a little bit of hope and inspiration. Rothfire has always been the archetypal fairytale horse. Costing just $10,000 as a yearling, the plain bay gelding has... Read More

Olympic medalllist’s gift with horses is gold for Australian racing

Such is Tokyo Olympics eventing silver medallist Shane Rose’s passion for his work with thoroughbreds that as soon as he arrived home from quarantine last Wednesday morning he was straight back into the saddle on one by midday. “It’s good to be back, I can tell you. It didn’t take long and now it feels... Read More