Maudsley puts in the hard yards
HORSES for courses has been the operative phrase endured by Queensland horse trainer Larry Maudsley for the best part of 30 years.
That and the endurance needed to get crippled and rejected race horses back on track have shaped the life of the swimming pool renderer who regards his time in the racing industry as a hobby.
South-east Queensland and northern NSW tracks have been the centrepiece of Maudsley’s stable operation on 81ha at Wolffdene near Beenleigh as he strives to revive the fortunes of horses disowned by disheartened Brisbane owners.
For Maudsley, meetings like Saturday’s Tabulam Cup outing can make the difference between a good, bad or great week.
The annual Tabulam program bordered on great with just a couple of strides in the last race of the five-event program making all the difference.
“That was a good day; you can’t expect too much out of them,” said the likeable trainer who had been Queensland’s long distance endurance riding champion before turning to training in 1979.
Maudsley walked away from Tabulam with $1050 of the $19,000 prizemoney up for grabs after two of his five-mare team pulled off second and third placings in their long-running maiden campaigns.
But it could have been very different for the 51-year-old trainer who has been bringing his team of one-time rejects to Tabulam as the lead-up to the ‘busiest time of the year’ for the last five years.
In that time he has had four seconds and two thirds on Tabulam’s maiden cards – but never a winner.
That could have all changed on Saturday in the Jim Dillon and Jack Dillon Memorial Maiden Handicap over 1400m when his four-year-old mare Effronte upstaged solid favourite Maali soon after turning for home and came within three-quarters of a length of taking the $2450 winning prizemoney.
Five-year-old mare Peep had opened the trainer’s account in the first race with a third placing.
Maudsley’s reputation for getting injured horses back in the running for once promising careers has grown steadily since.
Working closely with his brother, who is a farrier and performs chiropractic work, the horses are worked on the hills and slopes of his property and given sand track work at Beaudesert, 40 minutes away, three or four times a week.
Race programs from Grafton to Wondai and out to Goondiwindi are regulars on his weekly agenda, but Saturday’s Tabulam card was the lead-up to the trainer’s busiest time of the year.
Non TAB meetings are Maudsley’s passion.
“They are not as hard as normal programs, but do entail a fair bit of travelling,” he said.
“Gatton is probably the next on the agenda next weekend, but then it’s a solid program at Ballina’s Christmas-New Year racing carnival,” he said.