Gordon Spowart fought off defending champion Kim Anderson to achieve an astonishing 18th Geraldton Trainer’s Premiership last week.
Racing and Wagering’s (RWWA) Julio Santarelli caught up with the stalwart trainer to reflect on his personal milestone.
JS: What does it mean to you to win another Geraldton Trainer’s Premiership?
GS: It’s quite fulfilling and satisfying to tell you the truth and having sustained success over a long period means you are not some hit and miss or flash in the pan.
JS: Is it something you targeted after missing out last season to Kim Anderson?
GS: You don’t go out to specifically win it but it’s nice when it comes around and to be able to share the spoils with people who have helped you along the way is special.
JS: This season’s title must have kept you on edge as it went right down to the wire?
GS: The way in which you get five points for a win and third for second means you can make up ground pretty quickly. Kim was a little unlucky towards the end because many of his horses had been up for most of the season while I had a few fresh ones.
JS: Do you still have the same passion for racing as when you first started?
GS: I have arthritis which can get you down a bit and it is becoming harder the older you get, but the start of a new season always gets me excited.
JS: What would you say is the key to your sustained success?
GS: You couldn’t do anything without good staff behind you including my wife Janet who is stable foreman and rides track work. It’s a big team effort and that’s why it’s satisfying to achieve success so they can revel in it as well.
JS: You also need a strong and loyal client base.
GS: I have a mix of new and old with some having been with me since the very beginning. It’s hard when you don’t have a lot of youngsters and have to chase tried ones but my owners have always been very patient.
JS: Have you ever entertained shifting base from Geraldton and moving to Perth?
GS: I thought about it when I was younger but with a bigger base you need more clients and that means more expenses. I have everything I need in Geraldton. I might move down when I’m semi-retired and play around with a team of two or three.
JS: What were your major standouts for the season?
GS: I think it was our consistency across the board as we had no major top liners.
JS: Is there still a major race you would like to win?
GS: I’ve had a few placings but I would love to win the Geraldton Cup. I thought I had a good one this year but The Weapon bowed a tendon.
JS: Are there any bright ones in the stable to keep an eye on?
GS: I bought a Snitzel colt for a $100,000 at the Gold Coast sales earlier this year and he is about to be broken in. I also half a half-brother to Barakey who is still immature and we’ve had to be patient with him.
JS: What do you have planned for the off-season?
GS: I’m going to someplace called the XXXX-Gold Island in Queensland which was a prize won by a mate of mine in a promotion. David Harrison is also coming along so I hope I survive the trip (laughing).