By Duane Ranger
It’s taken promising part-time Queensland trainer, Tayla Gillespie, just three years and 11 months to go from one to 50 career training wins.
The talented Prenzlau (near Marburg) horsewoman notched up a half century of training successes at Redcliffe Paceway shortly after 5pm last Thursday night (December 5), when the Reece Maguire-driven, Purple Shades, got up by a neck.
It was the Shadow Play bay gelding’s fourth win in 76 starts. He’s also placed 18 times and banked $30,037. Gillespie owns the Reg Walsh-bred 7-year-old.
If you think Gillespie got to the 50 quick, imagine how many career wins she would have now, had she been able to commit full-time to standardbreds.
The 24-year-old is so disciplined she’s also held down a full-time job – all while zoning in on her personal milestone.
“I only work my own team of 15 with Dad (Shaun) here at Prenzlau (near Marburg), but from 8am to 4pm each-day I also work for Blue Care, a company that nurses and gives personal care to the elderly.
“It’s a satisfying feeling to get to 50 wins so soon, considering I’ve had to endure 3.45am starts, and then at the other end, 8pm finishes, to make it all work,” Gillespie said.
“The other job is important, because I need that income when my horses aren’t doing so well. I’m not complaining though. This is a lifestyle choice. I will always train horses – I love them too much not to,” she added.
From the time Gillespie could walk, she’s always followed her father around with his horses.
“He’s my inspiration. I’ve learnt a lot from him over the years, and I’m just grateful to Dad for all the owners he brings to my stable. I’ve always been his strapper. Now I want to do my best for Dad, and all the owners and the breeders.”
Gillespie had seven starts before she nailed her first training success, and now three years later has trained 50 winners from about 650 starters. She has also had 96 placings and netted more than $245,000 in stakes.
Of her current crop, Gillespie said she has a lot of time for Hot Rod Heaven and No Confession.
“Hot Rod Heaven won in 1:52.8 for me in the wet at Albion Park one night. That was a highlight, and No Confession has won 10 races for me. He’s had a few leg injuries but always seems to bounce back and give his best."
Brisbane-born and Lowood State High School educated Gillespie said she would never forget her first training victory.
“That was when Brittany Graham drove French Lesson to win for me at Redcliffe. I even remember the date – January 20, 2016.”
She said she always loved watching her father work the horses when she was in her teens she got to see 2010 open class trotter, Kasyanov, run in the 2010 Interdominion Trotting Grand Final.
“Dad trained him to run second (behind Sundons Gift) in that Grand Final at Moonee Valley.
“That was pretty emotional for us. I was so proud of Dad doing that. I was only 15 and will never forget it. Kasyanov was a great old horse. We love him so much. He is 15 now, and still with us,” Gillespie said.