WARRNAMBOOL trainer Colin Chandler admits he’ll have mixed emotions as he saddles up The Four Lads in a $30,000 showcase benchmark 70 race at Warrnambool today.
High profile Warrnambool businessman George Taylor, who passed away last week following a short illness, was among the owners of The Four Lads.
He raced the five-year-old with good mates Ian Baker, Graham Sherwood and Michael Baker.
Taylor’s wife Gywn has taken over his share in the lightly-raced galloper.
Chandler, who trained horses for Taylor for more than 30 years, said he hoped The Four Lads could win the 1100-metre race.
“I’ve got no doubts it will be a strange sort of day for me with George not being at the races,” he said.
“He always used to come down and see his horses saddled up before they raced.
“George was a wonderful person to me. He was a straightshooter.
“I think horses that George part-owned won 101 races for him.
“I’m not sure how many of those 101 winners I saddled up for him but there would have been a lot.
“George loved the racing industry, especially the breeding and racing side of the business.”
The respected horseman said The Four Lads had recovered from a minor setback which saw him scratched from Bendigo on June 26.
“He just was not 100 per cent at Bendigo so I scratched him,” Chandler said.
“He’s over that problem and is going well. He loves wet tracks. He’s a big strong horse.
“We could have used a claiming apprentice but we decided for the experienced jockey in Jamie Mott.
“He’s a strong jockey who should suit The Four Lads.”
The first of eight races is scheduled to start at noon with the last set down for 4.13pm.
Meanwhile Ciaron Maher has scratched Mr O’Ceirin from the $150,000 Grafton Cup today.
Maher was trying to win back-to-back Grafton cups with the six-year-old but a wide barrier draw forced him to forget those plans.
Racing Victoria has also advised the Warrnambool race meeting set down for August 9 has been changed to August 10.