Bit of advice to punters
’ Bet on the good ones,’ quips trainer
CHARTERS Towers horse trainer Bill Hetherington, owner of winning horse Likefatherlikeson, is excited to have all four of his horses competing at the Towers Jockey Club’s Rural Race Day on Saturday.
Getting his horses into gear for the event, Mr Hetherington said he’s looking forward to a win.
“I’ve got to have them looking good for the races,” he said. “Well I shampoo and clean them, I do it all myself. I’ve been doing it since 1974.”
Mr Hetherington said that despite being officially retired, horse training was still his full- time job.
“It gives you something to do you know, because I’m 72 and it beats sitting at home watching TV,” he said.
“I rode a lot of horses back in the day and that’s definitely come in handy as a trainer. It’s just the sort of thing that grew on me as I got older.”
Ironically, Mr Hetherington said he wouldn’t advise anyone to buy horses or look into horse training as a booming career option.
“A bloke from Bowen, he said buying and training a horse is a very poor investment,” he said.
“You’ve got the blokes that barter in the metro and, well, they buy the best.
“Blokes in the bush don’t get enough competitions.
“You can’t get no water in the river, you got a bit of grass, but just not enough water and horses do drink a lot of water.
“When they don’t win, horses they’re very expensive.
“If you’re looking to buy a horse, look at its history.
“It’s a bit of a lucky dip isn’t it, take a look and see if it can gallop or not,” he quipped.
Growing up with 17 siblings on a farm, he said his dad taught him everything he knows about cattle and horses.
“We got a big family you know – 12 boys and six girls,” he said.
“It was a lot of fun having so many siblings.
“We had to go to school and all that sort of thing, but we still had to milk the cows, about 80 to 100 head before we went and we’d come home from school, bring in the cows and milk them again.
“I’ve got four sons myself. They’re not into horses like I am, but they sure do love it when I win.”
Asked if he had a favourite horse, he gave the sort of reply only a true horse lover would give: “I don’t have a favourite horse because they’re all favourites.”
The jovial horse trainer also had some advice for punters at the races next week.
“Bet on the good ones, that’s the only thing I’ll say,” he said.
The race day features a five- race card and Northern Miner Fashions on the Field. Gates open at 11.30am.
BEATS WORKING: He might be officially retired, but Bill Hetherington says training is his full- time job and he’s excited to have Lofty's Mate among all four of his horses racing this weekend.