Gentle celebrates new career
Feb 02, 2011
Clarry Conners' foreman Brian Gentle snared a rare win as a part-owner and celebrated a new chapter in his career when Croisade won at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.
Gentle trained for several years at the Gold Coast but bad times fell, forcing him to quit a career he loved before returning to Sydney.
Croisade, who was eased down to win the Mitty's Plate (1500m) by 2-1/4 lengths, was originally trained by Gentle before he took up a position as foreman with Conners at the start of the season. However, Gentle's job with Conners has been shortlived as he takes up a new position next week as a breaker and pre-trainer at Cobbitty Lodge outside Sydney.
"Cobbitty Lodge is probably best known as the pre-training complex Bart Cummings used years ago and that's where Beau Zam was pre-trained," Gentle said.
"I've been with Clarry for more than four months but I've decided to give this new venture a go and I start next week."
Gentle trained for almost four years at the Gold Coast after serving nearly five years as foreman with John O'Shea in Sydney.
"I had my last runner as a trainer on the last day of the season last year," Gentle said.
"The decision to quit training was really forced on me by some of my former owners. "I just couldn't continue on. I miss training but I don't miss chasing the bills."
Gentle trained some useful gallopers during his training stint but rated Umanugget as the best. "Umanugget was one of my better horses," he said. "I took him to Sydney for a few runs including the Skyline Stakes as a two-year-old and I then planned to send him to Melbourne for the spring.
"Unfortunately, his owner rang me up one day and said he was moving the horse to Peter Moody in Melbourne."
Moody won only one race with Umanugget before the gelding returned to Queensland to be prepared by Croisade's trainer Steve O'Dea.
O’Dea, who later made it a double with Bellaspirit in the Sky Racing Maiden Plate (1300m), was not surprised to see Croisade win so easily.
"His last run was disappointing when he whacked away to finish fourth over a mile (1600m) at Doomben," O'Dea said.
"He was dropping back to 1500 metres and the bigger track really suited him." Gentle was also confident of a strong showing from the son of Lion Heart.
"When I used to train Croisade he could blow Umanugget away on the training track," he said