Zampese with bittersweet win at Addington

By Michael Guerin

The fact Brian Zampese felt a little guilty about training only his second winner in recent years at Addington on Thursday night sums up what kind of person he is.

The quietly-spoken Zampese trained Touch N Go to leave maidens when she clung on to win the Woodlands Stud Thanks Breeders, downing a brave Millwood Goddess and hot favourite Jay R Tolkien, who did himself no favours by racing erratically.

The victory denied the Bagrie family a poignant victory as Tom trains the second horse and it would have been so appropriate if she could have won after Peter Bagrie (pictured above) passed away just hours earlier.

“I feel a bit bad because it would have been lovely for them to get that win,” said Zampese.

“That is how racing goes but I had nothing but respect for Peter. He was always a real gentleman and came over to have a talk to me so I was sad to hear of his passing.”

The irony is Bagrie would have loved seeing a hard-worker like Zampese get a rare win.

He would have been one of the first there with the big right hand outstretched.

That Zampese would even think of that after just his second training win in six years will not surprise those who know him.

He has always been the same, a good bloke who cut his teeth with horses at the old Victoria Park in Greymouth, learning about them after one day being randomly offered a trackwork drive by old Floppy Goodall, whose looked like his name sounds.

“I went down there to the track on motorbike knowing nothing about horses and fell in love with it,” remembers Zampese.

“I went back to Greymouth a year or two back, and to see Victoria Park closed and nothing but weeds was pretty disappointing.”

The 55-year-old Zampese works between 8 and 10 horses and used to make extra money breaking them in.

“But I don’t do as many of them these days are so many trainers do their own,” he says.

If you are reading this and have a couple from the sales they need an early education you could do worse than call Zampese.

A natural horseman, kind to the animal. Was back in the Victoria Park days, still is now.

He has had his work cut out with Touch N Go, an Art Major out of a good and busy broodmare in Kabet.

“This mare is not like an Art Major at all, she is a bit more lazy and relaxed, like the Bettor's Delight coming through the dam.”

You could ask a man who has only trained handfuls of starters in recent years why he bothers but you only get half way through the conversation with Zampese and you realise it is pointless.

“It is harder to get owners and for those owners to get commercial horses who can win at places like Addington.

“But I still love doing it.”

The late Peter Bagrie would have loved hearing that.

 

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