Aussie battler strikes gold with Group 1 Glory
By Michael Guerin
Racing loves stories about those who strike gold but in trainer Malcolm Hutchings’s extraordinary story it is quite literally true.
Because when the Western Districts of NSW harness trainer scored the first group one of his career with Terryrama at Bathurst last night (Wednesday) he wasn’t at the track, he was working down a gold mine.
Like so many small-time harness trainers the 62-year-old mixes working horses with something that actually pays the bills, in Hutchings’s case that is driving a truck at the gold mine 25kms north of Parkes.
It is no-phones allowed workplace so Hutchings had no idea his son Brett had partnered the 80-1 winner in the $100,000 Western Region Championship until he was able to telephone home during a break two hours after the race.
“I couldn’t believe it, it was a hell of a thrill,” says Hutchings.
“I got back on the radio when I went back to work and told people we had had a winner and they were pretty stoked for me.
“Then I told them it wasn’t an ordinary winner, it was a group one and the winner gets $52,500 and they all started cheering and congratulating me on the radio. That was pretty special.”
Hutchings usually works nights straight in the mine so the training is a family affair.
Brett, who was driving his 101st winner in the group one success, found Terryrama online and he was only for sale because his previous trainer got sick of trying to teach him to pace.
“I liked his breeding but thought something must be wrong with him and it turned out he could be a real handful,” says Brett.
“But my brother Mitch, who works for the council here, wanted a horse so they paid $800 for him and he is now owned by his fiance Sara. They are buying a house so this couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Now Terryrama is developing a brain to match his motor he could even take Team Hutchings to Victoria for Vicbred series there while Brett thinks he will be even better suited to the giant Menangle track when state-wide racing returns.
But while Malcolm Hutchings may be the horse trainer who struck gold twice in one night, they party differently in the Hutchings house.
“None of us drink so it won’t be that sort of party,” says Brett.
“But it means so much to us. Dad came down to the stables when he got home at 7.30am this morning and it was a great moment for us all.
“But then he had to go to bed,” he laughs.
The regional series finals moves to Wagga on Friday where potential superstar Whereyabinboppin is the hot favourite for their final while both Menangle and Newcastle host $100,000 finals on Saturday night.