Fledgling trainer, Liam O’Loughlin celebrates a birthday on January 23 and received an early gift last Saturday, but his birthdate is forever tinged in sadness.
In 2009 O’Loughlin lost his uncle in a freak motor cycling accident near Coolup, the former jockey and trainer was tragically cut down in the prime of his life.
Glenn Simpson, aged 42 and mentor to O’Loughlin, rode 176 winners including 102 at provincial, 71 at country and three at metropolitan level.
A gifted horseman he worked closely with Steve Wallace and Gilded Venom during that gelding’s wonderful reign between 2007 and 2008.
Gilded Venom won the Group One Railway Stakes (1600m) and the Group Two C.B.Cox Stakes (2100m) before his ill-fated death.
In a sad irony Simpson and Gilded Venom died within days of each other.
O’Loughlin said the memory of his uncle was his primary thought when he celebrated a landmark victory at Albany on the weekend.
The 23-year-old saddled his first starter and got off to a dream start as a trainer-owner when Multimagic won the Motel Le Grande Maiden (1230m).
Ridden by O’Loughlin’s partner, Kate Fitzgerald, the Domesday gelding burst to the lead inside the straight and defeated King Louie by a long neck.
Adding poignancy to what was already an emotional occasion, Multimagic raced in Simpson’s colours of dark blue with a white lightning bolt.
“I thought of my uncle as soon as Multimagic went past the post,” O’Loughlin said.
“It was quite emotional and a big thrill.
“It really meant quite a bit to me.
“Glenn played a role in my becoming a trainer.
“Chris Wolfe, Steve Wolfe and Stephen Sheehy were also instrumental.
“They all played equal parts in my development.
“I just wanted to listen and learn as much as I could.
“The weekend was just a big thrill all round.”
O’Loughlin made a determined bid to follow in the footsteps of his uncle as a trainer after a rocky beginning.
His entry was delayed 12-months after stewards rejected his application because of insufficient funds.
The apprentice boilermaker was just short of the $7,500 required under Racing and Wagering guidelines.
O’Loughlin’s father, Shane O’Loughlin, a committee member of the Albany Racing Club, said he’s proud of his son’s persistence.
“To do what he is doing with a full time job is a credit to him,” O’Loughlin said.
“There is a fair amount to fit in and he handles the pressure.
“He is pretty motivated and is at least having a crack.
“He is fortunate to have been associated with good people who are doers.
“Racing needs young people coming through and he is doing a big job.”
Multimagic had previous stints under leading Perth trainer, Neville Parnham and Rickie Brown in Kalgoorlie.
He had one appearance for Sheehy at Albany on Boxing Day before joining O’Loughlin’s set up in January.
O’Loughlin said his goal was to complete his apprenticeship and continue to work with a small team of horses.
“I’m not in racing for the money,” O’Loughlin said.
“I’m doing it for the enjoyment.
“It’s a labour of love.
“Down the track I may consider training full time but at the moment I will keep it to a small number.”
RWWA: Julio Santarelli