Ex-pat Australian trainer, Peter Walsh is gearing up for his ninth season training in North America. The 49-year-old, who was renowned for his training exploits in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1990s, is these days based in Chesterfield, New Jersey.
Walsh had stints in New South Wales and Victoria and was well-known for his exploits with Andrel gelding and Australian Derby winner, Late Bid - a multiple Group winner, who netted more than $500,000 in stakes.
Then there was Seelster Sam, another former Kiwi bred who won $74,000 Down Under before going on to win another $185,000 in America. Walsh also raced New Zealand bred Atitagain in November 2001, who won 26 races and $735,776.
His Troublemaker gelding named Flubber was the original Australia Breeders Crown winner and went 1:55.4. He won nine of his 20 starts and placed in six others for $196,150 in stakes.
When contacted by Harnesslink this morning, Walsh, one of the most prolific readers of our website in North America, was online catching up with the world harness racing news. He has fond memories of Australia and New Zealand and wasn't writing off a return to either country one day.
"I'm Australian and will go back one day. I've even had offers to train in New Zealand but for now I'm happy in New Jersey. This has been work and home for nine years now," Walsh said.
Walsh, who turns 50 next week, said he was working 12 standardbreds for the 2009 season. These included eight 2-year-olds, two 3-year-old fillies, and two older trotters.
"It's a bit early to say how my 2-year-olds will come up but I'm quite excited about theand colts. It's still a bit early to tell yet though. They have not long been broken in and will race in July. I'll know more about their true potential around June," Walsh said.
Since emigrating north, Walsh's success with the standardbred has continued.
TSS Posidon raced in Canada, the United States and Australia and won $229,978. His quickest mile time was 1:48 - slightly quicker than what Jadah Rose quickest time of 1:49.3 set at The Meadowlands last May.
Thatmare won 31 of her 53 starts and just over $371,000 in stakes - $101,966 of it in Australia. Time Share N (27 wins and $429,901) and 1:48.2 entire N (20 wins and $289,028).
Born in Melbourne and married to Belle with two teenager daughters and two one-year-old twins, Walsh said he was enjoying the American lifestyle but would never forget where his roots were.
"I'm an Australian based in America. There are a lot of Aussies and Kiwi horsemen out here. It's freezing right now but I still have a few months before our horses get in behind the gate. Until it doesn't really pay to talk up horses, especially youngsters, who haven't been to the races yet."
Walsh regularly travels ‘Down Under. He has a daughter at University in Melbourne and recently visited Australia's two new racetracks in Melbourne and Sydney. He also keeps a close eye on Australia and New Zealand harness racing.
"I was impressed with both the Melton and Tabcorp track in Sydney. It was badly needed. As for your country, I love watching running. He's a real champion who I'm sure would perform well here. Your website keeps me up with the play. It is great to know what is going on back home," Walsh said.
Duane RANGER (editor)