Back on the track af­ter a long spell

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JOR­DAN GER­RANS

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.”

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