Barry answers call of the Sunshine State

BARRY Lockwood moved to Brisbane a couple of weeks ago and struck success almost immediately.

The former Tamworth trainer celebrated the wins of Agrophobia at Ipswich and then I’lltakemanhattan at Doomben before Brookton Tiara ran a big race at Eagle Farm last Saturday.

Two wins from four runners was a pretty handy start for the straight-talking trainer.

There were a number of factors which forced him to move; not having to put up with minus eight degree mornings again, the amount of travelling he had to undertake to place his horses, and the facilities available at Eagle Farm all lured him across the border.

Up there the weather is warmer in winter with no freezing taps and hoses to contend with at minus eight degree temperatures, the tracks are closer with major freeways and the facilities are perfect.

“All the travelling down there was too much,” Lockwood said.

“I did 350,000ks in my old car down there the last two and a half to three years. Getting home at 11pm to get up at 2.30am. Up here everywhere is so close. We’ve got the Sunshine Coast just up the road, the Gold Coast, Ipswich and even Toowoomba. I’ve got some BOBS horses too so Ballina and Murwillumbah are just a couple of hours across the border. I’ve got half the trips up here and all on good freeways or roads. The other day I went to Ipswich in 45 minutes and was back home before I knew it.

“The minus eight degrees was a killer too. The old bones felt that. It just made it harder getting up out of bed.

“And the facilities are so much better up here.

“At Tamworth you couldn’t give one a gallop on the grass when you wanted. I’m not bagging Tamworth. But nothing had changed in the 30 years since when I’d left. I realised when I came back, nothing had changed. In their defence they are volunteers doing a job in a multi million industry.

“It probably should all be run by Racing NSW and the committee is there to run race day.”

That’s Barry’s opinion and he endeavoured to make sure people didn’t think he was bagging the club because it does a large amount of work to keep racing going.

The fact it has taken 20 years to have a new stand built is reflective of how the club has seemingly stood still over many years.

As it now stands, Barry has 10 stables in new boxes on the track at Eagle Farm.

“They used to be the old tie-up stalls the club has converted to stables,” he said.

“Brian Smith had 34 of them but gave me 10.”

Barry used to be Brian Smith’s stable foreman at Rosehill “back in the old days” and the pair have rekindled their old close working relationship from the 80s.

“It’s been a great start for me,” Lockwood said.

“Two winners from four runners so far.”

Ten years at Eagle Farm will just about do him, he reckons.

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