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Rookie trainer keen for TAB Battle of the Bush Series final

132007126-107321517936111-9085621022011005173-n.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans 

A berth in the 2021 TAB Battle of the Bush Series final might just set up the career of rookie Wandoan trainer Will Loudon.

And, if one of his team can qualify for the $200,000 Final on Tattersall’s Tiara Race day at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 26, expect a travelling party of around 200 from the country town.

Loudon, who’s family has been in racing for generations, took out his official trainers’ licence just last year and has three winners to his name since the middle of July of 2020. 

With Quilpie, as one of the new venues that will take part, kicking off the 2021 TAB Battle of the Bush Series qualifiers this Saturday afternoon, Loudon (pictured) has devised a plan to get his consistent gelding All Eez to the big smoke.

A winner of nine from 42 races, All Eez carries the top-weight in the opening qualifier of the 2021 series, which is set to be contested by eight seasoned bush gallopers over 1100m.

“We have been trying to set him up for this and if he does not qualify from this race, we will chase the next one,” Loudon said.

“We will just follow the series until we can get one in, maybe look at the Charleville Newmarket next.

“Hopefully we can get a start in the Battle of the Bush final, something like that kind of race, if you are lucky enough to pull it off, it could really set up your training career for life.”

As Loudon is the first trainer to base himself at the Wandoan track, which is in the Eastern Downs country racing association of Queensland, in over a decade, he believes half the town would converge on Eagle Farm if he could qualify.

“I bought this horse aiming for this series,” he explained.

“It would be just great to get to the final in town because there is a heap of local fellas who are in the ownership group.

“It would be great for the town because I think there will be half the town coming from Wandoan to Brisbane.”

One concern Loudon does have ahead of Saturday is that he feels All Eez is crying out for the 1200m, feeling 1100m may be a little short.

Quilpie Diggers' Race Club president Sam Bartlett is looking forward to hosting a Battle of the Bush Series qualifier for the first time.

“That is the plan, hopefully we get a good roll up of trainers, we have already had a number of inquiries from trainers from different areas that do not always come to Quilpie,” Bartlett said.

“That is good to hear and hopefully we can have a good weekend and everything can run smoothly.”

Loudon is creeping up on a year as a proper trainer, having previously owned plenty of horses, as well as being a regular at a country racetrack.

“I just thought to myself “why not train a horse and take one, too?”,” Loudon declared.

“I did not expect to get into training before that, I was just at Longreach racetrack one day and it went from there after thinking about it and speaking to a mate.

“This year has been a bit slow in terms of results but I had a rate of around 45 per cent for my horses running in the top three last year, which was not too bad, it was flying really.”

Loudon works as a livestock agent on top of his training commitments and explained that over the summer he, at times, needs to train his horses as early as 3am, such is the heat around Wandoan.

Both Loudon’s grandparents owned horses, while his great grandfather trained out of Longreach decades ago.

Quilpie-Diggers-Race-Club-03-web.jpg“It is rewarding, you get proud of the horses when they go well,” he said.

Loudon will have two other chances at Quilpie on Saturday.

Quilpie (pictured) was set to make their debut in the series last year, which was put on the back burner following restrictions.

Everyone involved is excited to host a qualifying heat this week, with the series culminating in the $200,000 Final on Tattersall’s Tiara Race day at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 26.

The Battle of the Bush commences at the Quilpie Diggers' Race Club on Saturday and will again feature 16 qualifiers (two per country region) across the state.

Hanover Square, trained by Bevan Johnson, took out the 2019 edition of the Battle of the Bush final.

A full copy of the series conditions can be found at www.racingqueensland.com.au.