By Duane Ranger
Booval hobby horseman, Bruce Wyborn, trained his first Redcliffe winner, and first since the 2012-13 season at ‘The Triangle’ last Wednesday (November 20).
“I was tickled pink and was jumping up and down on the same spot all the way down the straight. To say I was excited was a huge understatement,” the 51-year-old Ipswich City Council employee said.
It was his Modern Art mare, Tascott Lady, which gave Wyborn his moment of glory. He owns the 7-year-old bay, and bred her with Sherilea Litzow, and Colin McCoombes, who both live in Queensland.
Narissa McMullen did the driving and got Wyborn’s pride and joy home by a head.
“I just want to thank Narissa for her wonderful drive. In fact, I want to show my gratitude to the whole McMullen family, especially Taleah, who has done a lot of the driving for me. She’s my regular go-to-driver, but I have used them all.
“The McMullens have all helped me become a better horseman. John and Jeannette have been wonderful. I have done quite a bit of work with my horses at John’s stable. He has been a brilliant mentor to me. I have learnt so much,” Wyborn said.
“John opened my eyes to the intricacies of the game. I’ve been with him the last two years,” said Wyborn, who has trained more than 20 career winners.
“I’ve had quite a few horses over the years and have handed them on to other horsemen, because it’s been hard to commit to standardbreds 100 per cent when you work full-time as a gardener for the City Council.
“I think that is why my strike-rate is fairly good. To be honest I haven’t trained too many winners outside Rocklea. I’ve had the odd winner or two at Albion Park, but Rocklea was a great little course – my favourite. However, when it closed down, I cut back my team quite a bit so I could give more to the Council.”
Wyborn’s strike rate is impressive. His 12 starters since 2012-2013 have produced one win and four placings.
“So many other horsemen and women have been so helpful to me over the years. As well as the McMullens, Dave Rogers and Bernie Wilson. Also Steve Towns and Maxine Ellison where I spell all my horses have been great as well.
He said the best horse that he had bred was Margaret Jean, who won the Group Two Breeders Crown 4yo Trot at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last year.
“She’s by Lawman and is actually out of Hands Of A Star (by Cool Hand Nukes), and is a half sister to my nice 2-year-old trotter.
“That juvenile squaregaiter is a Skyvalley - Hands Of A Star gelding, who is likely to start in 2-year-old races early next year. I’ve got a lot of time for him.
“He arrived in Melbourne last week and has already trotted a mile in 2:0.8. That was his first run off the property. I’ve actually got three broodmares in foal, and six race horses. They aren’t all in work but Tascott Lady is my only race-horse at present,” Wyborn said.
He said the eight-win pacer, Smooth Art, was a quality pacer, which he trained before he was retired in 2009.
“Bernie gave me Smooth Art. He was a Perfect Art gelding who went really well, winning six races for me. He was probably one of the best I had.
“When I breed, I’ve always tried to go to good stallions like Pet Rock and Western Terror etcetera, and most of my spare money goes into the horses, but it’s not a cheap hobby. Ask my wife, Susan and two children,” Wyborn joked.
“Tascott Lady’s win was even more special, because I also own and co-bred her,” he added.
Tascott Lady is the first of five foals out of the three-win Armbro Operative – Battery Not Included (by Soky’s Atom) mare, Milady Operative.
That now 14-year-old mare broodmare was bred by Wyborn’s mate, Wilson. She’s had four fillies and just left a Gotta Go Cullect colt.
“I’m very happy with her, Tascott Lady has actually won seven races ($52,693 – 116 starts). She made her debut at Bendigo back in December 2014 for Jason Ross. She had her first 20 or so starts in Victoria before coming to Queensland in late 2016,” Wyborn said.
“She’s a good old mare, who showed a lot of courage in the straight the other night. I’ll always remember that Redcliffe win. I hope she’s got another win or two left in her before I perhaps breed from her,” he said.
Wyborn is from New South Wales, but has been a Queenslander since 1991.