Phil Burrows training career resurrected in Rangiora
By Frank Marrion courtesy of the HarnessXpress
Phil Burrows thought his training career was dead and buried last year, but it is being resurrected by his primary supporter Ronnie Dawe.
Dawe’s property development business Dawe Contracting, owned in partnership with brother Kevin and father Ray, has acquired a new property close to the Rangiora racecourse and it is presently being set up for Burrows to train at probably from May.
Burrows will be Dawe’s private trainer although he’ll be allowed a couple of horses for outside owners.
This was the reason Dawe Contracting was a prominent buyer at last week’s sales, securing six yearlings for a total of $227,000.
Dawe bought three fillies by Bettor’s Delight in Auckland including a half-sister to the ill-fated The Dorchester for $75,000, while in Christchurch he bought fillies by Captaintreacherous and Rock N Roll Heaven and a colt by Bettor’s Delight.
The latter was a smallish black colt and the first foal from the Somebeachsomewhere mare Ultimate JJ, a close relation of Classy Filly and Classic Line.
The Captaintreacherous filly is a half-sister to Ohoka Punter, while the Rock N Roll Heaven filly is from the smart Christian Cullen mare Timeless Perfection, whose first four foals are handy performers, the latest recent Sales race runner-up Plutonium Lady.
Rock N Roll Heaven was out of favour with buyers at the sales, but Burrows has no problem with him and cited his relatively small crops of foals to start with here.
“His bigger crops are still to come and he’s already shown he can sire very good horses, both colts and fillies,” said Burrows.
“I don’t think we’ve seen a better filly than Shez All Rock.”
The scale of the yearling purchases caught Burrows by surprise, but fair to say he’s feeling excited by the new opportunity.
“I thought Ronnie was going into the sales with a budget of 100k and a view to buying three or four and I had nothing to do with the Karaka sale.
“But I think he learned rather late in the piece that when buying fillies, you only have to pay a 25% deposit, and that’s probably changed his thinking.
“There’s not much wrong with Bettor’s Delight fillies of course and when they’re out of good mares and families, you can wind up with some nice broodmares later.”
Burrows previously trained from a property owned by Dawe himself near Rangiora, but when that was sold about a year ago, he went to work for Robert and John Dunn at the beach on April 1 last year.
“I was battling for other owners at the time, and it was going to be too much for me to set up another or new training establishment, so going to work for the Dunns was as easy out.
“I think Ronnie was just going to get his horses trained by various people at the time, but I think he then saw the potential in a new place as an investment for his company.
“Paying me a set wage to train his horses is a lot cheaper than having them with various other trainers so it works well for both of us.”
Dawe Contracting has bought the 125-acre property which used to run sheep and presently the shearing shed is being converted into stables.
A 900m track is planned in coming weeks and Burrows will be living only minutes away.
“The track is going to be bigger and better than what I had before and we’ll only be a stone’s throw from the Rangiora track.
“It’s good to start from scratch and set things up the way you want, and the place or ground isn’t horse sad.”
Dawe said he can look at selling off 10-acre blocks at later dates.
“The yearlings are being broken in at present and will be ready for their second preps when Phil starts,” said Dawe.
“I’ve got another yearling I bred and another half dozen older horses that can also come into work with Phil, including Go On Andover who has been with Tom Bagrie.
“So Phil will have around 15 to work on when he starts and then maybe we can look at buying some colts at the sales next year.”
The stable star will be Wild Excuse, who Phil has been training while at the Dunns.
She had a very untimely set back recently which took her out of the feature mares’ races at Addington, but she began hoppled work again this week.
“We couldn’t actually pinpoint what went wrong with her - I suspected it was a hairline fracture of the pastern.
“But she’s sound again now so we’ll just have to press on and see what happens.
“She’s well qualified for the Jewels already, although I’m not sure about going all the way to Cambridge for that.
“She would need to draw one or two and be on the fence otherwise she could be all at sea I think.”
That will be the least of Burrows’ concerns for the moment though as he contemplates a fresh start to his training career.