Day At The Track

Matt heaps praise on help at hand

08:36 AM 13 Jun 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Matt and Kym Martin,Harness racing
Matt and Kym Martin and their son George – in his black and white colors – with Final Chapter

When enthusiastic Cranbourne harness racing trainer Matthew Martin needs some expert advice, it's never far away.

"I've got a nice network of family and friends to lean on when I need a bit of help or guidance regarding horses, so I'm very lucky," he said.

And Martin, 32, was thrilled to see his one-and-only stable representative in Final Chapter (Art Major USA-Nyanjee (Classic Garry) get the money at Sunday's Mooroopna at Shepparton twilight meeting.

"The race did look ideal for her and I thought if she could lead over the short trip, we'd be hard to beat," Martin said.

"I've since read that a punter had $30,000 on at $1.65 - and I can guarantee that it wasn't anyone that I know!" he laughed.

Driven perfectly by Kima Frenning (who also showed awesome touch with three winners for the Emma Stewart stable the previous night in Adelaide) Final Chapter was always going to be the one to beat.

A first quarter of 29.9 was followed by a casual 33, then 29.1 and 27.9.

"When Kima got that easy second quarter, I did think she had pinched the race," Martin said.


Matt Martin and Kima Frenning are all smiles after the Shepparton win (Courtesy Shepparton HRC)

Final Chapter, raced by Martin, his wife Kym, and successful gallops trainer Luke Oliver, had been placed at Melton, Warragul and Shepparton before her maiden victory.

Martin, who's based at the Cranbourne Harness Training Centre, said he learnt a lot as a teenager when working horses with his father Alan.

"I realise now that probably I should have listened a bit more, because if I can't get one to pace properly or it needs sorting out, I send it straight up to dad at Marong," he said.

"But the other trainers based at the centre are awesome too - if it wasn't for them I would have been in the deep end and struggling along. I've definitely learnt so much and we all help each other out."

But Martin also has some impressive cross-code expertise he can call on - in the form of Black Caviar trainer, Peter Moody.

"I got to know Peter through my horse farrier business and, even though he was doing gallopers, I did pick up a lot about training and conditioning horses in general," Martin said.

"Peter's ethic was to work them hard with lots of swimming, and his horses would go to the races so fit first-up, and that's rubbed off onto me, which I've tried to replicate."

Martin said the Cranbourne centre was a "fantastic venue", boasting A1 facilities.

"We have the use of a racetrack, 1200m jog track and a 600m heavy track and all of those are prepared daily. There's also a swimming pool, eight horse walking machine and a treadmill - we are spoilt rotten that's for sure," he said.

Martin completed a four-year farrier apprenticeship in 2008 and has since built up a big clientele, including three days a week at Caulfield racecourse and the other two at the Romsey stables of Luke Oliver.

His work days start when the alarm clock goes off between 4 and 4.30am and in a juggling act, he then gets back to Cranbourne in the early afternoon to train his pacer Final Chapter.

"I recently decided to retire Mulgrave, a horse I got out of the claimers which actually gave me my first winner - Kima also drove him, but he was struggling towards the end," Martin said.

"I've trained two others which didn't make it. So, all in all, I've only ever had just the four horses. I've held a trainer's licence for four years and now have six wins from probably not many more than 50 starters.

"But it's an enjoyable sport and my only other hobby is supporting the mighty Collingwood AFL team."

And it's not hard to miss the Martin stable--a race sulky in the Pies black and white colors, drivers colors likewise, while Matthew and Kym's two-year-old son George has his own set, which he wears with pride at the meetings.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in International: