Day At The Track

Mike Austin - Obituary

08:32 AM 02 Jun 2017 NZST
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Mike Austin.jpg
Mike Austin

Prominent reinsman Blair Orange attended the funeral of long time associate Mike Austin in Christchurch on Thursday, thus bypassing the Forbury Park meeting.

Austin, who trained at West Melton, died last Saturday at the age of 69.

“He was like a second father to me,’’ said Orange, who drove 100 winners for Austin, the first on Black Mist at Addington  in March, 2000 when he was a junior driver and the most recent on Idle Monkey there in March this year.

Austin and Orange had good wins with the trotters Toomuch To Do and Ado’s Invasion. Toomuch To Do won the 2005 Canterbury Park Cup and a heat of the Interdominion in Auckland earlier that year. Ado’s Invasion won the 2004 City Of Sails Free-For-All in Auckland and the two feature races for trotters at Cambridge the same year.

Meniscus (eight wins), Kiwi Battler (eight), Idle Wishes (seven) and Tart N Tights (six) were among other trotters trained by Austin who also won eight races with the free legged pacer Nutwood in the 1990s before that horse was exported to North America.

Austin won 271 races as a trainer, the first with Katea Lad at Methven in 1978. His best season was in 2003 –04 when he won 20 races. He began training at Nelson, shifted to Southbridge in 1981 and West Melton three years later.

Austin’s son, Kyle is making his name as a trainer with Buster Brady, last start winner of the Winter Cup at Addington and candidate for the Harness Jewels on Saturday.


Tayler Strong

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