Current job title and time in that role: Bloodstock Consultant at Magic Millions - 2.5 years
How did you get into the industry?
I studied Agricultural science at University College Dublin with the aim of applying for veterinary as a graduate. I chose to major in Equine science and had a six month placement and was lucky enough to travel to Japan and work for Dr Harry Sweeney at Paca Paca farm. This opened my eyes in a big way. Upon leaving I was less interested in veterinary and more interested in the bloodstock side of the industry. I worked for a year with Equilume travelling the globe and then was very fortunate to get a place on Godolphin Flying Start in 2016, an unbelievable experience and would highly recommend anyone to apply!
What was your first job in racing?
When I returned from Japan I got a job bid-spotting at Goffs in my final year at University. There’s a great team at Goffs and I got to meet a lot of characters along the way! This ignited my passion to work in the bloodstock sector.
What is your first racing memory?
Heading to the Punchestown National Hunt festival every year. My father owns a pub and used to run a minibus full of patrons to the festival every year, like an annual pilgrimage almost!
Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
Harry Sweeney. To overcome the obstacles he faced and be the first foreigner to own land in Japan and get a JRA licence is incredible and his success to date is fundamentally linked to his hard working, never give up attitude.
What is the one job you would like and why?
I love the theatre and atmosphere of the auction house and auctioneers are fundamental in creating this magic between vendors and buyers. Hopefully I’ll be on the rostrum in the near future!
If there is one thing you could change about the racing / bloodstock industry in Australia what would it be and why?
It’s hard to fault the Australian model of racing. Prize money is off the charts compared to other countries and the communication owners receive from trainers and syndications is second to none which makes racehorse ownership a great experience for those involved. With the amount of racing that does take place it does make me wonder when trainers and industry participants get any down time which may make it difficult to attract new participants into the industry.
What do you think racing could do to attract more people?
Whilst the love of the horse is paramount to all in the industry, we need to continually educate those not in the industry about racing and promoting what an amazing sport it is and our love for the animal. Highlighting and promoting what happens to thoroughbreds off the track and the love and care they receive can only be beneficial in attracting more people.
What effect do you think the ongoing Covid pandemic will have on the Australian industry?
It’s incredible to see how resilient the Thoroughbred industry is when you look at the recent sales at Magic Millions and also how racing kept going even during the worst of COVID last year. If we can continue to promote and engage with new participants who may have otherwise used their ‘discretionary spend’ on other activities, we may in fact see some long term benefits for racing.
If you didn’t work in racing what would you do?
Work in the pub at home. Safer I’m here at the minute or it would be drunk dry since it’s been closed since March due to COVID!
Your favourite racehorse of all time?