Our Trainers

Below is a list of our trainers.

Ciaron Maher

Ciaron Maher

Ciaron Maher first got involved in the racing industry as a teenager when he worked with a trainer after school each day. From there, he started his jockey apprenticeship. He trained as an apprentice with Peter Hayes. He worked two years in Adelaide and two years in Melbourne. After finishing his apprenticeship as a jumps jockey, he worked for several trainers in Flemington. He travelled and competed in the Australian vs Ireland jockey challenge and then worked in Ireland and England for a year riding. He returned to Australia before going to work for the United Arab Emirates riding in Dubai for six months.

Ciaron returned to Warrnambool to set himself up as a trainer. He'd had the foresight to know that he would become too heavy to ride and had always known that he would eventually become a race horse trainer. By working with such a diverse range of trainers throughout the world, Ciaron was provided with the grounding to establish himself in his own career path in training.

He received his trainer's license in 2005 and began doing what he loves best - training horses. Spectacular Storm was his first winner. The horse won his hurdle race second up at Terang and then went on to win his next start by 8 lengths at Sandown. Spectacular Storm gave Ciaron great satisfaction as the 3 year old rewarded him for his time and effort he put into the horse.

One of Ciaron's most memorable moments was the Group One win by Tears I Cry at the VRC Emirates Stakes at Flemington in 2007, less than three years after becoming a trainer.

What sets Ciaron apart is the individual attention he gives to each of his horses, ensuring that they have a chance to succeed and the attention to detail in knowing everything he needs to know about his charges. He is a passionate and involved trainer.

"I love the thrill of winning and sharing that thrill with great people." - Ciaron Maher

In 2009 Ciaron was awarded the J.J.Houlahan Jumps Championship Trainer Award.

He continues to strive for success and well deserving of his reputation as a leading Victorian trainer.

Michael Moroney

Michael Moroney

Mike started learning his trade at the early age of 16, under the tutelage of top New Zealand trainer Dave O'Sullivan and gained a foothold in the training ranks from an initial partnership with the famous mentor, taking the position as Dave O’Sullivan’s foreman.

After 6 successful years Mike was sent for a 6 week working holiday to Melbourne with Angus Amanasco, where Mike observed another master in the trade.

Mike returned to New Zealand to train alongside Dave for the 1981-82 racing season , the 82-83 season saw Mike branch out on his own. This move brought about Mikes’ attainment within the racing industry, and to date Mike has been among the leading trainers for almost two decades in New Zealand.

After 18 years Mike decided he would take on Australian racing, moving to Morphettville in 1999. Mike spent 2 ½ years in Adelaide before moving to his well-appointed Flemington base.

Mike has quickly forged his way to the top of the Victorian scene. The proof is among his host of achievements including 40 Group One wins, two New Zealand training premierships with a top five finish on 16 occasions and the acclaimed Fred Hoysted Award for training excellence in Victoria at only his third full season in the state.

Mike numbers victories at all ends of the Group One spectrum, two-year-olds in the Blue Diamond Stakes, Ford Diamond Stakes (twice) and Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes, classic three-year-olds in the New Zealand Derby (three times), New Zealand 1000 Guineas, New Zealand 2000 Guineas, New Zealand Oaks, South Australian Oaks, VATC 1000 Guineas, Spring Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby (twice), top sprinters in the Railway and Telegraph Handicaps and high class stayers in the Melbourne and Wellington Cups.

The Flemington and Matamata stables compliment each other, the former allowing increased prize money opportunities for the latter's graduates.

Ballymore Stables utilises Paul Moroney Bloodstock as its bloodstock consultant for purchasing young racing stock and this combination of selection and training has become one of the most potent modern day horse racing forces.

Michael Kent

Michael Kent

Absolutely Ridden To Perfection In AJC Oaks Victory

Story By Alex Steedman

Saturday, 16 April 2011: A ground saving ride by jockey Brad Rawiller has helped steer Mick Kent-trained filly Absolutely to a commanding victory in the Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick today.

With four black type placings including her last start second in the Schweppes Oaks but yet to break through for a maiden win, it wasn't until the dying stages of today's Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m) Mick Kent's filly Absolutely was considered a genuine winning hope in the event.

Ridden by Brad Rawiller Absolutely was positioned midfield during the middle stages as the Danny O'Brien-trained Placement led the way.

Race favourite Shamrocker sat behind Absolutely throughout the run and from the 600m the pair took different approaches to winning the feature event for three-year-old fillies.

As Shamrocker moved off the fence and quickly began to make up ground, Rawiller aboard Absolutely bided his time on the rail.

This move by Rawiller proved critical for the chances of Absolutely who drew level with Shamrocker at the 300m before quickly moving clear going on to win the Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m) by 3.5 lengths.

Nothing can be taken away from AJC Derby winner Shamrocker who finished second while Pinker Pinker rounded out a Victorian trifecta in third.

Having been placed twice behind boom filly Lights Of Heaven this campaign a perfectly executed plan in today's AJC Oaks means the Mick Kent-trained Absolutely is now a Group 1 winner in her own right.

“Everything went to plan and we're glad we came,” Kent said.

“It looked like a tough Oaks but she drew well and you don't get many chances to run in Group 1's.

“She had done terrific since Adelaide, it seemed to make her that trip away. She's been working good so we were really happy to come.”

Absolutely's win in today's Group 1 AJC Oaks further maximises the Redoute's Choice fillies potential broodmare value following four black type placings at her previous six career starts.

“I run her in a lot of Stakes races,” Kent said.

“We thought she would win her maiden nice and easy and she got beat there. She is a very nice filly and it was only the question regarding the trip and the ground today and that was no worries.”

Connections of Absolutely largely owe the victory to riding tactics employed by jockey Brad Rawiller who walked the track along with Mick Kent before the event.


Nathan McPherson

Nathan McPherson

Having grown up in Cranbourne, Nathan has always been surrounded by horses and decided at a young age to dedicate his life to this exciting and rewarding industry.

Nathan’s first foray into training began with his work on Peter Snowden’s team. Whilst working with Snowden, the team worked with 120 horses a day and Nathan soon began to recognise a good horse when he saw one. He also spent time with Lee Freedman at Markdel, where he realised that beach work was imperative in getting results with older horses.

Nathan believes in giving one-on-one attention to the horses he trains and this has paid off. Since securing his Trainer’s License in 2012, he went on to his first 3 winners at Sandown, Flemington and the Wagga Town Plate.

Testaguy was purchased at tried horse sales and became Nathan’s first winner at Sandown. Then came Adamon, who hadn’t raced in 26 months then proceeded to win $110k at Flemington and the Wagga Town Plate.

Nathan’s stables are located on a 15 acre property in Moorooduc, 10km from the Mornington race track and 15km from beaches for beach work. The property includes 22 large grass paddocks with 6 of these featuring shelter sheds. His training facilities include 800m sand trotting and a canter track with barriers, a large microfibre surface arena and 8 horse walking machines. Nathan uses Balnarring race track for grass gallops and trials.

Stephen Brown

Stephen Brown

Prior to moving to Melbourne, Stephen Brown was the foremost trainer in Darwin for many years and was also a leading jockey.

In 2004, Brown headed to Macau but just before he left he captured Darwin's two feature races - the Palmerston Sprint with Lord Harry and the Darwin Cup with Mr Tambourineman. Near-legendary in Darwin for his endless stream of winners, Brown had a stunning stint in Macau between 2004 and 2009, winning two Derbies in three years.

Sea Lord’s win in the Australia Stakes in January 2013 was his first Group success in Australia.

Brown feels his personalised training methods could be the key to Sea Lord's return to form.

"I'm probably a bit unconventional in my training methods. I reckon when you're getting a horse ready you should have it underdone rather than overdone," he said.

"A lot of people overdo it and they don't stay up long but our horses tend to stay up longer."

"I can't really put my finger on it but I'm just doing my own thing and it seems to be working."

Brown's stables are located in Flemington.

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