From 10 horses to 100 …

George Osborne arrived in Kyneton 12 years ago from Queensland with strong training credentials, and began with 10 horses in his stable and plenty of time to play golf as well.
Osborne Racing now has about 100 gallopers on the books, and Osborne is ranked in the top 20 trainers in the state, and 12th in Country Victoria as the 2019-2020 season draws to a close. He has chalked up 43 winners, equalling last season’s effort in Victoria, when he also won several races interstate.
Now golf’s well and truly on the backburner, with a large contingent of stable clients and their thoroughbreds the number one priority (Osborne was a very talented golfer, playing from a handicap of 1 at one stage).
From a business perspective, Osborne Racing is a big ‘plus’ for Kyneton and the Macedon Ranges, with 20 on the payroll – then there’s the flow-on benefits.
When they’re not in full racing mode, many of the stable’s gallopers spend time at Glenfern Park at Romsey.
Osborne also has a close association with Langdon Thoroughbred Racing, on the Woodend-Tylden Road. This family enterprise breeds and owns gallopers, and Adam Langdon’s produce store in Woodend is well utilised for fodder and racing essentials. Veterinarians and farriers are also beneficiaries.
Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club is pleased to have such a mainstay trainer using its facilities.
With nearly 30 years’ training experience behind him, Osborne admits he did not expect his Kyneton setup would grow to such a stage similar to what he had at the Gold Coast and Rockhampton.
“People just kept knocking on my door,” he said, explaining how the local enterprise had gradually built up.
Generally regarded as an astute, meticulous trainer, with a keen eye for detail, Osborne regularly attends yearling sales, looking for what he considers value-for-money gallopers.
He acknowledged the support received from so many loyal owners and said with the COVID-19 virus appearing he wondered about the future of about 15 young horses he had purchased — but owners, many new to the industry, have bought into them.
Osborne said it had been a tough time (for owners) but they understood. Due to the pandemic owners have been barred from city meetings and have limited access to provincial races.
With hundreds of winners behind him, Osborne has a very time-consuming workload as a trainer.
“But I’m enjoying it,” he said, reflecting on the Kyneton experience in particular.
Speedy Miss Vista, a real flying machine with white feet and face, attracted a cult following, but ongoing feet problems curtailed her career, and she was euthanised in 2018, being buried at Glenfern Park where she was bred.
George Osborne did not come into the racing game in a traditional way, and his road to becoming a trainer generated plenty of interest.
His father was a lawyer, and attending race meetings. He often represented friends and others who owned horses and were regulars at Sydney tracks when racing was booming.
These were the days of leviathan bookmaker Bill Waterhouse, and his son Rob Waterhouse, who Osborne eventually worked for.
Osborne’s judgement and opinion on horses became sought after on race days, and he recalls accompanying a couple of very big punters to country tracks including Wyong and Dubbo, to cast his eye over the runners.
Eventually he decided he would like to become a trainer, and approached leading Sydney trainer Clarry Connors, of Golden Slipper winning fame.
Osborne effectively did a five-year ‘apprenticeship’ with Connors, and was proud to receive his trainer’s licence on his first application.
He trained at Kembla Grange initially, with success, and later moved on to Rockhampton and the Gold Coast.
Utilising talented young riders Like Zac Purton and Michael Rodd on his gallopers paid off. In Victoria, Linda Meech has a great strike rate for Osborne, and he was not surprised to see her win the Victorian jockeys’ premiership.
The trainer is a strong advocate for using young apprentices, both male and female, on many of his gallopers. He also selectively places his gallopers at provincial tracks, and is looking to racing to return to normal so he can travel to southern NSW for some of the country cups.
Osborne is keen on Seeress, a quiet, plain filly who won impressively at her second raced start earlier this month. Her next start is expected to be in city company.
Reine Happy, who turns nine on August 1, is a stable favourite, with 12 wins, numerous placings, and nearly $215,000 in stakes.
“Happy birthday to all the horses,” Osborne said, looking forward to another successful racing season.
For the second year in a row, George Osborne is taking part in the Dry in July campaign, with proceeds going to the cancer department at Bendigo Hospital.
He is matching any donations in his name, and thanks all who have been generous for this cause.
Details are on the Dry in July website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fourteen + 12 =

error: Content is protected !!