Back on the track after a long spell
FORMER Northern Territory-based Kevin Mearns is loving his return to horse training after moving to Mareeba.
The 85-year-old arrived in the Far North with two horses at the start of last month and has since added another after a more than a decade-long break from training.
Mearns’ last starter before moving to Queensland was Richland on Boxing Day in 2001 at Darwin’s Fannie Bay track.
“He had an accident on the track and died, it upset me a bit,” Mearns (below) recalled this week.
“I decided to give it away, but recently a mate of mine rang me from Melbourne and asked if I wanted a horse he had, and I thought ‘bugger it’.
“I thought I would have another go. I love my horses.”
Richland won three races across his 57-start career, as well as going around at Moonee Valley back in 2001 before moving to the NT.
With Mearns stepping away from training his own horses, he focused his time over the last 16 years breaking in horses.
The veteran horseman laughed that he had not had any success yet since returning but was hopeful that could change soon.
He had Miss Donatella nominated in the $7000 Benchmark 50 Handicap over (1000m) today at Atherton but decided not to accept.
The four-year-old mare put in a decent showing at Gordonvale last Saturday, running fifth of nine with apprentice Rachel Shred on board.
Mareeba Turf Club Secretary Cathy Sloane is pleased to welcome new trainers.
“We could do with one or two more trainers on track at Mareeba,” Sloane said.
“We are delighted to have Kevin join us.”