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  4. Rookie trainer Adam Campton enjoying experience of establishing stable

Rookie trainer Adam Campton enjoying experience of establishing stable

IMG-7318-1.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

For rookie trainer Adam Campton, he is enjoying the battle of establishing himself within the training ranks in Queensland.

At 33 years of age, Campton has lived a diverse life within the racing industry before taking out his own licence on the Gold Coast, working in a number of different roles around Australia and across to Hong Kong.

Alongside partner Tayla Whalley, Campton has 16 boxes at Aquis Park and will train a mix of tried horses and youngsters, recently purchasing four colts at the Magic Millions sales.

As is the case with creating any type of business, the youthful horseman explains that there is always struggles in the early stages of establishing a successful racing stable but it is an experience he likes.

“We are enjoying the battle,” Campton said.

“It is hard to start with.

“You have to work hard otherwise you do not succeed, starting off any business is tough and in the racing game there is plenty of eyes on you and you have to work hard to start off with a bang and we were lucky enough  to do that on the weekend.

“Now we have to capitalise on that and keep going from there.

“We need to put the horses in the right place and keep going from there.”

As Campton mentioned, he tasted immediate success as a trainer last weekend at Warwick, his first starter in an official race getting the money at provincial level – Lord Markel in a Class 2 Handicap over 1100 metres.

The emerging trainer comes from excellent stock in the racing game, the son of Golden Slipper-winning jockey Neil and grandson of Melbourne Cup winner Les Coles.

Leading Sydney-based trainer Gerald Ryan is also an uncle of Campton’s.

Several in Campton’s family have reached great heights within the racing industry and he hopes that a Class 2 Handicap at Warwick Turf Club will be his starting point for a fruitful career as a trainer.

In his first start in the Sunshine State, Lord Markel was aided by an excellent ride from promising apprentice hoop Zac Lloyd to score by almost a length from barrier 13.

The son of Hallowed Crown had not been seen at the races since late July of last year and while his two previous Victorian triumphs suggested he might have a bit of quality on the field at Warwick, Campton was wary about the wide gate and long lay-off.

IMG-7320.JPG“I was very lucky to be given the chance to train him from Kevin Payne, who is one of his owners based in Melbourne, as a friend of mine knew Kevin and saw that the horse was just going through his gears down there,” he said.

“They thought the change of scenery to Queensland would be great and luckily enough it worked out well and we got the job done first-up.

“We were confident and thought he would run a good race.

“Zac rode the horse perfectly and giving us our first winner, I owe him plenty so we will use him plenty in the future.”

Like uncle Gerald Ryan, Campton considered returning to NSW when he recently departed a four-year stint in Hong Kong but was eventually swayed to relocate to Queensland.

Campton’s partner Tayla Whalley, who is a big part of his training operation, is from the Sunshine State, with her sister Heidi – also an up-and-coming trainer – engaged to leading hoop James Orman.

The new trainer has gained an abundance of knowledge from different roles working for Darley, Unibet and the Hong Kong Jockey Club before settling on the Gold Coast.

“The Gold Coast Turf Club supported my move back here, I obviously never had trained before, coming back from Hong Kong,” he said.

“We were lucky enough to get stables here on the Gold Coast.

“It is a great club on the rise, you can pop over the border and race for good prize money.

“We are essentially racing for $2 million in prize money every week, it was a no brainer for me to come to the Gold Coast.”

Gelding Lord Markel was the stable's first starter and winner and he is likely to be joined by a few more stable mates in the coming weeks with the yard busy at the trials of late.

Stayer Lesmurdie went around on Tuesday morning at Doomben, as did Diwali Lights, who started his career in Hong Kong, while the unraced Antino also stepped out on the Gold Coast  earlier this month.

Under the guidance of one of the top hoops from around Australia last year – Brett Prebble – Antino bolted in by six lengths that morning and Campton thinks the three-year-old gelding has the ability to win in town and is likely to debut within the next month.

“We are taking our time with him, he will be at the races pretty soon,” he said.

“I think he will be a very exciting horse for the future. He is still learning but he has the ability. He is one of the most exciting horses in our stable.”



Aquis Park Gold Coast | Gold Coast Turf Club | 10:45 AM