Day At The Track

First training success for budgie breeder

08:35 AM 21 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Riverleigh William - photo Racing Queensland,Harness racing

Budgies and standardbreds are about as common as vinegar and oil, but for Linsun (Charlie) Chang, breeding the tiny bird species has ultimately led to his first training success.

The 68-year-old cook and hobby trainer realised a dream at Redcliffe Paceway last Wednesday (March 13) when the Jacob (Jack) Colley-Presnell driven Riverleigh William won the Redcliffe Leagues Club Conditioned Pace.

“I was rapt. Who would ever have thought this would have happened to someone like me who didn’t even know what trotting was really all about, six years ago," he said.

“In 2013 I was breeding budgerigars at Redcliffe. I was at one of our shows, and my late mate, Neville Spencer, asked me if I wanted to go to the trots with him. He never missed a Wednesday meeting. He would sit in exactly the same seat every week – and before long I became hooked too."

“It all snow-balled from there. I’m over the moon. I can now say I’ve bred trained a winner. I’m quite chuffed about that."

It was a lovely drive from claimer driver, Colley Presnall.

The 7-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding stormed home from the rear to career away with his 13th win.

"I've had him since September and I'll never forget him now will I? Jack took off at the 800m and I thought he went too early. I didn't think the horse would make it to the line," he said.

"However Jack knew what he was doing. In the end he won easily (7.9m). Well done Jack. You made it happen!"

Colley-Presnell, who is just 20 and in his first season of driving, has now registered 15 winners.

Chang said the 1780m mobile was designed to cater for ‘hobby’ trainers and provide a way for people starting out to ‘cut their teeth’ without racing the professional trainers.

There is usually one such race programmed each Wednesday night on the peninsula.

“I only took out my trainer’s licence about three months ago. Late last year my regular trainer, Josh Moore, left and decided to join the Racing Queensland team,” Chang said.

Chang could have searched for someone else to condition his team of three, but elected to jump in the deep end and have a crack at the training caper himself.

Chang has now been a passionate owner and stablehand since 2014.

“I learnt a lot from Darren Hooper and I’ve done a lot of mucking boxes in my short time in the game. I’m always learning. When Darren lost his licence I approached Josh at Redcliffe and he took over my small team,” Chang said.

Up until Riverleigh William’s win, Chang had recorded six placings from 26 starts (two horses).

“I’ve broken my duck now so watch out. I’ve learnt so much from so many people and I’m grateful to all of them for that,” Chang said.

The Australian born horseman, whose Mum was Australian and his Dad Chinese, then paid a tribute to fellow horseman - the late Mick Daw.

“Michael’s (Mick) son, Wayne, works for me and it was an absolute honour to win my first race in his father’s colours. In some ways the race was a dedication to him,” Chang said.

Those colours are - yellow with the navy blue navy ‘M’.

Footnote: Riverleigh William and Brendan Barnes will start from three on the second row (9) in the fifth event at Redcliffe Paceway at 7.52 tonight (Wed. March 20).

Feature Image: Riverleigh William records a win at Albion Park in April 2017. 


Duane Ranger

for Racing Queensland

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