Tony Triscari may not have held a trainer’s license for over two decades, but despite the long time off, he hasn’t forgotten how to prepare a winner.
After a 22-year absence from the training game, Triscari returned to the winner’s list with Premium Choice, a comfortable winner at Ascot on Saturday.
After a long break, Triscari walked back into the winner’s enclosure for the first time since Mr Harmonic won at Esperance in 2000.
It was Premium Choice’s maiden city victory at his third start for Triscari after displaying good signs at Esperance for previous trainer, Coreen Maynard.
Acknowledging it was a long time between drinks, Triscari enjoyed the winning environment again, but admitted he thought it may have come sooner.
“I suppose it meant a fair bit, but it’s not like it was out of the blue because the horse should have won the start before,” Triscari told The Races WA.
“It was really nice, but even better to get the first one out of the way, you know.
“It’s satisfying and at least now I know haven’t forgotten how to do it (laughing).”
Triscari humbly deflects his vast racing background.
It’s a body of work that commenced before he was even a teenager.
When you add in his work as long-time deputy to top trainer, David Harrison, he holds his own in terms of knowledge and experience.
Triscari is an electrician by trade and currently owns a concreting business with his son, but says his passion for horses has never been dimmed.
“I’ve been involved since I was about 12-years-old,” Triscari said.
“I was born in Darwin but came to Esperance when I was around seven.
“I used to work half a dozen horses before school and that’s how it started.
“I was 18 when I took out my first trainer’s license, I think I was one of the youngest to ever hold one at the time.
“I started in Kalgoorlie and Esperance and it just sort of started off with a couple and built from there.
“I was full time for a few years and actually trained quite a few horses for Terry Rhode, one of the state’s leading bookmakers.
“Then we had the stock market crash and with two little kids and a mortgage it all got a bit too hard.
“I basically gave it away and went back to being an electrician.”
Triscari is an unabashed fan of Harrison and credits him for forging a path back into racing. A fervor that reignited a decade back.
He says their association goes beyond just horses; they have formed a strong personal and professional relationship.
“I enjoyed being at Dave’s and helping out doing things,” Triscari said.
“It’s been about 12 or so years, but Dave and I have been mates for over 40 years.
“He’s been a huge help and reignited by passion for horses.
“It was great to have him there with his wife (Jenine) on Saturday.
“Those two people couldn’t help you enough, nothing is too much trouble.
“They are unreal.”
Triscari and Premium Choice can go back to back this weekend with the four-year-old one of 12 acceptors in the Amelia Park Handicap (1000m).