South Africa To Kalgoorlie: Mego Trains First Winner

30
May

Mathew Mego won his first race as an owner-trainer at Kalgoorlie on Sunday.

Typically such success will bring about a chorus of celebrations, particularly when you’re just a novice in a new industry.

Mego wasn’t overcome by modesty or wanted to down play the victory of Wembley Dayz; a much-wanted and confidence-boosting maiden win.

But although delighted and appreciative of the handshakes and backslapping of friends and supporters, South African-born Mego wanted to keep the celebrations a little bit circumspect.

“When Wembley Dayz ran second a few starts back I celebrated a bit too hard,” Mego told The Races WA.

“It was only my second race as a trainer and it felt as though I was the winner of the race.

“It was more than what I had expected and I had a few too many drinks.

“I woke up the next morning and I had to call in sick as I was not feeling well.

“The boss was really good about it and after Sunday I was a bit more respectable.

“The celebrations were a little bit quieter and I was back at work on Monday.

“Work pays the bills so it was back to reality.”

The after race revelry might have been purposely low key, but it didn’t diminish Mego’s unbridled joy at winning his first race as a trainer.

It came four races into his tenure of Wembley Dayz, who was placed at her previous three starts and a decade since he emigrated from South Africa.

“It was a mixture of relief, happiness and excitement,” Mego said.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

“I thought we might be running for second again.

“But halfway down the straight she kicked in.”

Admirably, Mego’s horsemanship skills are essentially self-taught.

He said moving to Australia with his family in 2008, when aged 18, allowed him to indulge his passion for horses.

“My family have no real knowledge or interest in racing,” Mego said.

“Once a year they would take me to The Durban which is one of the biggest races in South Africa.

“I’ve loved horses all my life and have a real passion for them.

“But to get into horses and racing in South Africa can be very expensive.

“The same barrier doesn’t exist in Australia and it’s easier.

“I love preparing horses for a race and seeing them improve.

“That’s why I love being in racing.”

Now that he has won one race, Mego wants another and with only a team of two in work the pressure is largely on Wembley Dayz.

Judging on how she sped out of the gates from a wide barrier and kicked clear in the straight to post his first win after nine starts, there are more wins in store.

“If she maintains that speed and keeps running, then she can win again,” Mego said.

Julio Santarelli
www.rwwa.com.au