Scott Lucock and Sally Gillespie
5 Dec 2008
Te Akau stable foreman Scott Lucock and Sally Gillespie trained over 250 winners between them, including 10 group and listed winners, and trained in partnership before joining Te Akau Racing.
Lucock is a foreman in the colt barn on the Matamata racecourse and Gillespie foreman at the main stable, just up the road.
They share a lifetime passion for the thoroughbred, offer a wealth of experience, and each dedicated and hard workers.
“When Dave (Ellis) came up with a job offer, we thought it was too good an opportunity to turn down,” Lucock said.
“My biggest responsibility is liaising with the trainer (Jamie Richards) and making sure everything runs smoothly with the horses and staff. Keeping an eye out for any injuries, making sure the horses are happy, safe, and sound. Dave has bought some beautiful horses and we just have to get them to perform up to their best and try to have them racing to their maximum potential.
“Jamie is a young man that can definitely train a horse and he’s only going to get better, and better, with more experience. He ticks a lot of boxes, is open to listening and discussing ideas and we really appreciate that.
“Between Dave, Jamie, and Mark Walker, they consult together a lot, make good plans and place horses right.
“I was an apprentice jockey in Waverley, and rode for three or four seasons before getting too heavy for riding race day. My boss retired and I took over training from him and been training horses off and on ever since.
“Working for Te Akau is a great challenge for both of us, especially working with well bred, quality horses, which makes a hell of a difference, and they have very good systems in place. It is run very, very professionally and there are a lot of interesting dynamics to the business.
“Dave has given people, both staff and owners, the opportunity to be involved in the New Zealand racing industry that otherwise may not be. We have enjoyed meeting a lot of the owners, many in syndicates, and they’re treated like they own the whole horse, and we treat them like that when they come to see them – and they absolutely enjoy it and love it, which is what it’s all about.”
“My forte and passion is soundness for horses,” said Gillespie, who first tried putting a bandage on a horse when she was two years old.
“I grew up with it up through Mum & Dad, who were owner/trainers, and if you ask Keith Haub, he will say my mother was the best lady rider in the world. Dad was president of the Dargaville Racing Club for many years.
“I broke my first horse in when I was nine, hunting and showing by seven, and carried on to train my own horses, and became a private and public trainer after being a pedigree writer for two years in Melbourne.
“I’ve worked yearling preps, helped with broodmares, pre-trained, trained, and Scott and I joined forces a few years ago when we had barns next to each other at Byerley Park, Karaka.
“I don’t think it matters whether you’ve got five horses or 500 horses, as long as you’ve got the right staff and systems, and the horses at Te Akau are looked after very well. We certainly do the best we can for them.
“As far as I’m concerned, anyone that gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning to go and look after racehorses is someone with a passion for it. We’ve got some young staff prepared to do that and want to learn and I love being there to teach them. I’ll teach them everything I know and we never stop learning. I’ve picked up a few things here that I’ve never seen before and thought to myself I could have been doing it 20 years ago.”