Ex-stewards chief Des Gleeson to end Tasmanian stint

MOVING ON: Des Gleeson, who got his start in Warrnambool, will not seek re-election to the board of Tasracing. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

MOVING ON: Des Gleeson, who got his start in Warrnambool, will not seek re-election to the board of Tasracing. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

FORMER Racing Victoria chairman of stewards Des Gleeson will stand down from his role as a board member of Tasracing at the end of November, after seven years in the role.

Gleeson, also Tasracing's representative on the Australian Racing Board, said he had enjoyed his time working with the state’s key racing body.

"I've had a wonderful time working with the various groups in Tasmania," Gleeson said.

"Tasracing oversees everything to do with thoroughbreds, harness and greyhound racing in the state. They are very passionate regarding all aspects of the three codes.

“I will not be standing for re-election. I think seven years in the role is enough.

“It's time for fresh faces with new ideas to take the three codes forward to meet the future challenges."

Gleeson started his career in racing as a steward with the old South Western District Racing Association in Warrnambool in 1973, before transferring to Melbourne in 1978.

The one-eyed Bulldog fan worked as a steward for more than 35 years before retiring in 2008. He was chairman of stewards in Victoria for 13 years.


SYMON Wilde, who hopes to open a new satellite training stable in Ballarat within a month, has given the thumbs up to the facilities after using them for the first time last Friday.

Wilde took 12 horses, staff and track riders to Ballarat.

"I was very impressed," he said.

"They are first class. My track riders and staff were also impressed. It's just such a great facility at Ballarat to train horses.

“I would say we're about a month away … we've had a bit of a hold up getting the stabling complex finished because of the wet weather."

Wilde, who is enjoying a fine start to the 2016-17 season, said he will have a selection of horses trained at his Ballarat base. 

"I think I'll have 10 horses up there to start with, and still have 40 horses in Warrnambool," he said.

"One of the biggest assets that Ballarat has is the up-hill 1400-metre track. Horses can be worked on the up-hill track every day of the year … and the work of horses is electronically timed."

Miss Shrimpton kept the winning run going for the Wilde stable when she was successful in a restricted race on the synthetic track at Geelong last Friday.

"Miss Shrimpton shows a lot of promise," Wilde said.

"It's great she shows so much ability as she is part-owned by long-time stable client Bill Couch. Bill has allowed us to give her time to mature and that's what she needed.

“I'm confident Miss Shrimpton will develop into a real handy staying mare. She will improve more once she has a little break and comes back into work."

Miss Shrimpton has won two of her three starts. She was unlucky at her debut when she ran fourth at Warrnambool.


JUST Call Me Bruce may have earnt a start in the $30,000 Coleraine Cup this Sunday after winning a $30,000 restricted race at Morphettville on Saturday.

The nine-year-old has won three of his 11 starts since joining Aaron Purcell's Warrnambool stable.

"Just Call Me Bruce is a strong type of horse," Purcell said. "His owners originally send him to us as a potential jumper, but I don't reckon he'll measure up to the jumping caper as he's pretty headstrong.

“We'll just keep him going for some of the minor country cups."

Just Call Me Bruce took his stake earnings to nearly $130,000 with the Adelaide win.


WARRNAMBOOL trainer Merv McKenzie hopes his restricted class sprinter Our Miracle gets a run in a benchmark 64 race over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Our Miracle ran fourth at Geelong last month, his first start from a long break.

The effort pleased the popular trainer.

"It was a good first up run," McKenzie said.

"I thought with any luck he may have won the race at Geelong. He carried 61kgs and was unlucky.

“I entered him at Casterton the other Sunday but they were called off.

“It's been so wet we haven't been able to do much work with him. He's going to need the run on Friday night."

Our Miracle has picked up more than $46,000 in stakemoney for his connections from 27 starts.


ORFORD jumper Mannertone sharpened up for Sunday’s Coleraine steeplechase with a steeple school at Warrnambool on Monday.

Trainer Anne McGrath said Mannertone needed the jumps school after a steeplechase at Casterton last Sunday was abandoned.

"Mannertone is pretty fresh so I had to give him a school," McGrath said.

"He's feeling really good. We put him over six fences to prepare him for the last jumps race for the season at Coleraine this Sunday."

Mannertone has won five of his 26 jumps starts. 


JOCKEY Ibrahim Gundogdu pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding following his ride on Greywolf at Pakenham on Sunday.

Stewards found Gundogdu let his mount shift out when insufficiently clear of Time To Sail, resulting in that horse having to be checked to avoid the heels of Greywolf. Gundogdu was suspended until midnight, September 27.

Stewards believed the incident qualified for the mid-range category of carelessness and took into account his guilty plea and good record.

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