Swain ends tough day with a win at Forbury
NZ HARNESS NEWS
A tough day finished on the best possible note for Invercargill trainer Aaron Swain, at Forbury Park on Thursday night.
Swain’s mare, Ideal Gal, won the last race on the card for a loud and passionate group of owners, the Wyuna Wackers Syndicate.
The win gave him a temporary reprieve from the emotional turmoil of losing his uncle, Makarewa trainer Brian Swain, earlier in the day.
“That win was for my uncle,” said Swain.
“He had an operation in October that went a bit pear-shaped, but he’d seemed pretty healthy the last few weeks and months.
“So much so that he took his horse, Delight N Gold, back to train last week.
“And then yesterday, he died suddenly without warning; it came as real shock to us all.”
Brian Swain, who had been licensed since the early 1970s, recorded 61 wins and twice trained horses to win seven races in a single season – Hallmaster in 1974/75 and Silky Saila in 1992/93.
His final winner came at the Gore meeting just after Christmas with Lily Ducket.
Aaron Swain has found himself in the enviable position of having too many owners and too many horses.
Because of his job as the local rep for feed merchants NRM and McMillan Equine, he can only do a handful of horses at a time.
“I’ve got three in work, which is quite a good number to fit around my day job.
“But I have 17 or 18 others to work through.
“It was the worst time, horse-wise, to start a fulltime job, but they are a great company to work for and I’m really lucky to be in the role.“
The Wyuna Wackers boys are a bunch of old mates of Swain’s, and their interest has grown since a chance meeting eight years ago.
“They’re just a bunch of good fellas that enjoy the races. This is the first horse they’ve owned.
“They make every race an enjoyable one, that’s for sure.
“No matter where you get, you’ll know they’re on course, I can tell you.
“I met two of them, Chris Kenny and Tommo Smith, at the races about eight or so years ago.
“They got more and more involved and eventually we bought this mare at the weanling sale in Auckland four years ago.
“Chris, Tommo and myself have 25 percent each and the remaining quarter is shared by another group of six or seven guys.
“It’s really taken off from there.
“I did a count up the other day and I’ve got 38 individual first-time owners.
“They’re all new to the game and are mostly all young guys in their 20s and 30s.
“I’ve actually had to start turning people away because I don’t want any more horses; I’ve been putting them on to Kirk and Michelle Larsen’s new syndicate.
“These people, a lot of them don’t have a lot to spend, but if you can get them involved for even $50 a month, it works.
“Most of them don’t care how much they own, they just enjoy the thrill of having a horse at the races.
“The Wyuna Wackers boys have a great philosophy.
“They say that they don’t care if the stake is $1 or $1 Million, a win is a win and they get the same buzz.
“They’re all hooked for life, now.”
As for Ideal Gal, she’s likely to join her former stablemate Errol Finn racing in the North Island.
“I think she could be up for a wee trip up to Auckland over winter.
“She’s a handy mare and think she can win a couple more.
“She’s a poorish trackworker and I almost sacked her after she qualified.
“One day soon after that I said this is your last chance. And she just turned up and has gotten better and better ever since.