UNDERSTANDABLY, it’s been a quiet season on the racetrack for multiple Group 1 winning Hawkesbury trainer Garry Frazer following the retirement of his star mare Spright.
But he is nothing if not versatile.
Whilst he has had only 11 starters for two winners since the current season began last August, Frazer also dabbles in training greyhounds – and produced a winner at Richmond last week.
He recently took over the training of Winking Nick, a dog he owns, from leading mentor Frank Hurst (who won the TAB Million Dollar Chase, the world’s richest greyhound race, with Good Odds Harada at Wentworth Park last October) and landed a 330m Maiden with him last Wednesday night as a $2.30 favorite.
“I have had an interest in greyhound racing as well as the horses for a long time,” Frazer said today.
“The dogs are kennelled at my stables at Clarendon.
“I enjoy walking the dogs. It is good exercise.
“Winking Nick is a well-bred dog and hopefully he can win a few more races.”
Frazer clinched his fourth thoroughbred Group 1 victory when Spright (Damien Oliver) brilliantly overpowered her own sex in the $600,000 TAB Classic (1200m) at Morphettville last May.
It had been two decades since he and Oliver also combined to land the 1999 Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick with Quick Star.
Frazer also won Group 1s in 1995 with Turridu (Queensland Derby, Mick Dittman at Eagle Farm) and George Main Stakes, Bill Aspros at Randwick).
Spright was retired to stud and mated with Zoustar earlier this season and is in foal.
“I feel she probably could have won at least another Group 1 had she continued to race, but the decision was made to retire her,” Frazer said.
“You don’t replace horses like her overnight, especially in a smaller stable such as mine.
“But I’ve got some nice young horses, so there is always hope.
“They are only babies however, so it’s going to take time.”
Frazer began the current season by winning with his first starter, Sharapova (named after the now retired former tennis star), at Newcastle on August 10 last year.
He returned to Newcastle a few months later to also score with Graceful Zarifa on December 7.
Frazer has had only four starters since; the latest Graceful Zarifa at Nowra yesterday when she resumed in a Benchmark 58 Handicap (1200m) and had no luck, being held up rounding the home turn and into the straight and then restrained by her rider Travis Wolfgram when disappointed for a run.