30 Questions with Trevor Casey









Wednesday, November 5 2014

Harley power:  Trevor Casey giving demonstration rides  on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle at the Banks Peninsula Trotting Club’s meeting, at Motukarara on December 29, 2012. Photo Shelley Caldwell-Topp

Harley power: Trevor Casey giving demonstration rides on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle at the Banks Peninsula Trotting Club’s meeting, at Motukarara on December 29, 2012. Photo Shelley Caldwell-Topp

Trevor Casey got involved with harness racing as a teenager and has been hooked ever since. He now owns, or has an interest in, 20 race horses, and is breeding from 6 mares. He is a generous sponsor of harness racing through his popular restaurant Lone Star Riccarton, supports the notion of an Owners’ card, and would like to see better stakes at the bottom end of harness racing.

1) You own quite a large team of very nice horses, including the lovely trotter Stent. How did you come by Stent?

“I bred Stent from Belle Galleon who I raced. She was a nice trotter and has a good pedigree so I retained her for breeding. So far I have bred Stent and Arya and have a full brother to Stent just born.”

2) Stent has won 17 races now and $500,000 in stakemoney. It must be a great thrill to own a horse like him.

“Stent is one in a million. I am so proud of his achievements, he always tries his best and is a bit of a character.”

3) What is the story behind his name?

“I named him after I had a stint in hospital to have stents fitted, so he is close to my heart.”

4) What is the biggest thrill you have had on a racecourse?

“Winning is always a thrill whether it is a maiden or a Group race. Biggest thrill, well there are a few. Pocaro winning the Jewels. Escapee winning two Derbys, Mah Sish winning the Hunter Cup, Arya winning the Breeders’ Crown to name a few.

5) Do you always go to the races to watch your horses run, or do you prefer to watch them on Trackside at home?

“I love to watch my horses race and try to be on course whenever possible. I have run up a few air points over the years.”

6) At one stage nine horses you owned, or had interests in, were runners for the Jewels meeting in Ashburton on June 1, 2013. Hot Pants was eventually scratched leaving you with 8 runners. Quite a busy day. How did that feel?

“Everyone hopes their horse is good enough to get into the Jewels and yes I was very lucky to have 8 in that year. It was a great thrill and I was very proud of every one of them. To get a win and a couple of placings was the icing on the cake.

7) Escapee and Stent ran second and third in the $100,000 4YO Ruby Trot, that day then Sky Major and Maxim quinellaed the $150,000 Two-Year-Old Emerald. A hugely exciting day. How did you celebrate that night?

“It was back to Lone Star Riccarton to celebrate with friends and staff. My staff like to follow my horses and love a good party.”

8) Unlike many owners you have horses in work with several trainers. Why is this?

“I like to spread the luck around and it’s great to share with different trainers.”

9) Sky Major won another Jewels race this year, the $150,000 3YO Emerald at Cambridge in May. Pocaro, a mare you bred in partnership with Ken Barron and Gary Allen, was also a Jewels winner for you in 2009. Has there been any other Jewels’ success over the years?

“Sky Major and Pocaro have been good enough to win a Jewels for me. Escapee and Stent have run placings at 2, 3 and 4 which is nearly as good as a win.”

10) Pocaro won 13 races and $225,000 in stakemoney. You are now breeding from her. What has she left so far?

“Pocaro has a two-year-old filly by Angus Hall and a yearling colt by Muscles Yankee. She is due to foal to Muscle Hill soon.

11) As an owner what do you look for in a trainer?

“I like trainers who get results, and can discuss horses’ programmes honestly about their ability.

12) How many horses do you have in work altogether at the moment, what are their names, and where are they likely to race next?

“I have shares in about 20 horses that are at some stage to race this season.

Some of them are:

  • Stent, Cup week then Auckland and Australia.
  •  Hot Pants, Show day.
  •  Saratoga, Cup week.
  • Franco Harrison, Cup week.
  • Pass Them By, Cup week
  • Wanna Play, trialing soon.
  • Sluggem, trialing soon.
  • Waikiki Beach, trialing.
  • Lazarus, trialing.
  • Bonechip, Auckland over Xmas.
  • Notalada, Auckland.
  • Madam Simone, Auckland.
  • Arya, Melbourne.
  • Iceobar, Melbourne.
  • Sun of Anarchy, Melbourne.
  • Daenerys Targaryen, Melbourne.
  • Crusader Acey, Melbourne.
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy, Auckland.

13)That is a huge investment in harness racing. What makes you so confident in our industry?

“Like any sport I treat it as a hobby. It has grown over the years but it is still my hobby.”

14) What made you decide to become involved in harness racing and when was that?

“I got involved as a teenager living in Kumeu. I first helped out on weekends and school holidays at Tommy Knowles’ stable, and then became friends with Jim Cole who trained in Kumeu. He and I have been life-long friends since.”

15) What was your first horse?

“A dual-gaited horse called Speculate. He managed to win a race trotting.”

16) How many mares are you breeding from at the moment?

“Breeding from 6 mares:

  • Belle Galleon, foaled a colt by Dream Vacation.
  • Una Bromac, foaled a Muscle Hill filly, in foal to Majestic Son.
  • Niamey, in foal to Majestic Son.
  • Pocaro, in foal to Muscle Hill.
  • Escapee, in foal to Muscle Hill.
  • Majestic Kenny, in foal to Revenue.
  • Shesachristian, in foal to Bettorthanchedder.”

16) What do you think is the best horse you have bred/ raced?

“In no particular order, Stent, Pocaro, Arya, Escapee.”

17) Do you breed to race or breed to sell?

“I breed to race and sell. Building up a nice band of mares that are worth breeding for sales.”

19) You also buy horses ready to go? How do you go about selecting those?

“If I see something I like I will ask my trainer’s opinion and if it’s worth looking at.”

20) Do you have your own property for your mares and foals?

“I bought 4 hectares in Prebbleton 2 years ago to keep my mares and have recently purchased another 8 hectares. I now have all my mares here, and their foals, so they can be hard fed and handled.”

21) You are a big harness racing sponsor through your Riccarton restaurant Lone Star. With the number of horses you have in work, you are already making a significant investment in harness racing, what made you decide to become involved in sponsorship as well?

“I like to put back into the sport and sponsorship through Lone Star Riccarton is a great way of being able to do this.”

22) What do you enjoy most about being involved in harness racing?

“Meeting people with the same interest, winning races.”

23) If there was one thing you could change in harness racing what would that be?

“Better stakes at the bottom end.”

24) There is a lot of support now for an Owners’ card. You believe owners should have a card too. Why is that?

“An owners’ card would give owners a sense of belonging to something special. The card could provide entry to course, stables, owners’ room and discounts from businesses.

25) Name the best pacer you have ever seen race.

“Christian Cullen. Courage Under Fire.”

26) Name the best trotter.

“Stent, lot of love for him of course, also Lyell Creek.”

27) What is your favourite track and why?

“Addington always great to win there.”

28) Have you ever seen any harness racing overseas?

“Melbourne and Sydney when I have had horses racing there.”

29) What in your opinion needs to be done to attract more owners into harness racing?

“Look outside the square. Attract people who have never been harness racing.”

30) You are a big fan of Harley-Davidson motorcyles. What’s so great about Harleys?

“Harley’s is power under you and that great engine noise.

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