By Jordan Gerrans
For much of Allan Chau’s time within the racing industry, after he would ride a galloper on race day he would follow a regular process.
He would jump off, quickly chat to the owners and trainer in the saddling enclosure about how he thought their horse went and where he believes the galloper can proceed to going forward.
From then on, his mind was mostly free – joking that the horse was “no longer his problem after the race”.
Nowadays, a small team of young race horses are his “problem” 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year for the newly dual-licensed trainer and jockey.
After one of his horses goes around, his mind quickly turns to rehabilitation, planning for its next start and everything else in between.
The 34-year-old had his first starters as a trainer on Saturday afternoon on the Gold Coast and his stable stepped it up a notch on Tuesday morning when two promising two-year-olds put together impressive trials at Doomben.
Chau, who splits his time between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, has been riding for 17 years and has been thinking of finding a new venture in racing for some time.
A family friend of his - A List Stud’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Lee – had long pestered Chau with the idea around going into training.
A hoop that has won at Group 3 level and ridden around Australia, he admits he is now past his peak and prime as a rider when it comes to chasing feature success, so he decided to jump into the training world.
“The owner of the A List Stud – which is a big supporter of mine – gave me an offer that was good to refuse and I had to say yes,” Chau said.
“He has always pushed and encouraged me to have an attempt at training.
“Every couple of months he would mention to me about having a go at training.
“He is a good family friend of mine and is involved with all the horses in my stable at the moment.
“The riding ranks are getting harder; it is tougher to get good rides with lots of good jockeys going around.”
Chau took his first two rides as a trainer last Saturday at Aquis Park, conceding he felt nervous and pressure for the first time in a while at the races.
As a hoop that had battled injuries over the years – including a broken neck – Chau had long wondered what he would do post-riding.
Chau had been around gallopers that A List Stud had produced for some time, riding them in track work, and knew if he was to go into training their cattle on a full-time basis, they would be more than competitive.
All six of the horses in Chau’s barn to kick off his training career will carry the colours of the A List Stud ownership group – including impressive triallers from Tuesday morning in Proud Of You and Russian Warrior.
The A List Stud are originally based in Victoria but are working to expand around Australia.