Day At The Track

Golino chalks up number 300

04:00 PM 10 Aug 2019 NZST
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Anton Golino,Harness racing
Anton with one of his big wins for the season, Dance Craze who put in an astounding last-to-first performance in Australia’s greatest trotting race, the Great Southern Star

Australia's biggest mentor of trotters Anton Golino has managed to cram a lot into into a short time in the game, and the latest achievement in an exciting harness racing career is his 300th winner as a trainer.

The head trainer at Pat Driscoll's Yabby Dam Farms property at Cardigan, near Ballarat, said the milestone was a "nice surprise".

"I was driving back from Maryborough and my mobile phone was going off with text messages. I thought 'okay I've got a training double, but they weren't feature races or anything'," 37-year-old Golino said.

"So, I thought I'd better stop and check what's going on! That's how I found out my first winner for the day had taken me to the 300-win milestone. While I'm not into statistics and that stuff, it was nice."

The horse in question was Rave On Hall (Andover Hall-Pretty Peggy Sue (Pegasus Spur), winner of the $4500 Victorian Square Trotters Assoc Dorothy Redwood Memorial 3yo Trot at last Friday's opening meeting of the famous Maryborough two-day carnival.

His second winner for the day came from Im Ready Jet (Quaker Jet FRA -Im Ready Set NZ (Monarchy USA) in the $4500 Garry Angus Memorial 2yo Trot.

Golino, who gained international experience with outstanding horsemen while travelling overseas, grew up in Sydney with aspirations of being a farrier.

"My father was mad on horses and told me if I was going to get involved, I needed to learn the art of shoeing them. After I did that, the deal was, he'd let me help with the training," he said.

"But I broke both my legs in a motorcycle accident. I was just 20 then. So, I spent 12 months in a wheelchair and a similar time on crutches. I now still have some uncomfortable times when the weather is cold.

"Then I decided to go to the USA to learn more. I told my mum Dianne I'd be away six months, but it turned out to be eight years!"

Golino was given a job by then leading North American trainer and expat Aussie Noel Daley, who this year moved back home to be based at Menangle.

"Noel is not only a great trainer, but a great person. He was so good to me and he's been so good to many others. His farriers in Mark Vanderkemp and Brett Hampton really showed me how to do it-they were awesome," he said.

"I then spent 12 months working with leading Swedish horseman Timo Nurmos in Solvalla. He is a top trainer and I shod a lot of his trotters while I was there."

Golino said while it was probably difficult for him to get a ticket to become a reinsman in those countries, he had never worried about it.

"I just haven't got the right mind-set. No, I'm content with the training side," he said.

A further lucky break came when Golino was offered a job to educate 60 yearlings in France by Jean Pierre Dubois, arguably one of the world's premier horsemen.

"I'd met him when I was in the States. He had a farm in Kentucky. I still laugh about it - I jumped on a train virtually with just my shoeing gear and travelled for 35 hours to get there!"

"They're fond memories. I haven't any life regrets, but I do wish I did spend more time with him. He was the best.

"When I left France to come back home, Dubois wanted to own my very first horse. So, we had a trotter called Twice As Much. He won his first two including a listed classic race at Menangle, and finished up with eight victories."

It was through that association with Dubois that led to the Golino-Driscoll Yabby Dam Farms partnership.

"Pat approached me because he was curious as to how I come to have a horse with Dubois. Pat had been to France and realized that it was a pretty big deal. It was that, but also a privilege," Golino said.

Soon afterwards Driscoll gave Golino an unraced 4yo trotter Arboe (Love You FRA-Lough Neagh NZ (Sundon USA) who won eight of her first nine including Group events The La Coocaracha at Menangle in 1.55 and the Bacardi Lindy at Melton.

And so, the Driscoll-Golino team was up and away with a flying start.

"Arboe is now a broodmare, but she was awesome, although a little mad and silly. She is unbelievably bred going back to the super trotter Lyell Creek, a winner of 56 races and $2.2M," Golino said.

"Pat is so passionate and puts a lot of time, money and research into his breeding. He's had a massive impact on the sport that's for sure, importing some really nice horses. He's just so professional in everything he does," he said.

"Our stable numbers are down to 40 at the moment, compared to over the past two seasons we've been sitting at around 60 horses."

Golino said he was pleased with his 80 training wins this season for nearly $1M in stakes.

"Yes, we are going alright, but you are always hoping to do better," he said.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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