Why do trainers work their horses so early?

Being married to a horse trainer I get a lot of questions from friends about our lifestyle. By far the most frequent one is “Why do they start so early in the morning?”. Danny leaves the house six mornings a week at 4am. We have met people who do Breakfast Radio and the odd Baker but it is rare to find someone who has a similar working day. In the racing industry however it is considered normal.
The two main reasons they start so early is to get every horse excercised before the training tracks shut and before they complete all the other tasks that make up a day in the life of a racing stable. At Flemington there are around 500 horses in training. That is a lot of traffic on the different training tracks each morning. Once the horses have worked on them, the track staff need to groom them so they are in shape to be used again the following day. Likewise the stable itself has a lot to do after the gallops before the morning tasks are complete. There are horses who need massages, ultra-sounds, icing and all these tasks need to be done before the horses that are running that day head off to the races.

This all happens between 4am and 10am. The races each day are between 12pm and 5pm and the night races can go as late as 10pm. As you can see if the horses aren’t worked early each morning it just wouldn’t get done! It certainly cuts down on our social life. Danny is asleep by 9.30 most nights so we don’t have many late dinners. With two young children it all fits in pretty well but I’m not sure that we will be able to get them into bed at 7pm forever!















Trackwork at Barwon Heads

Trackwork at Barwon Heads