IT WASN’T the farewell Jeff Englebrecht wanted at Scone last Friday but the now ex-Muswellbrook trainer is excited about his long-awaited move to Wyong.
He was standing in his new 13-stall barn at Wyong Racecourse yesterday afternoon with a towel around his shoulders to ward off the drizzling rain.
A plan first devised four years ago finally came to fruition yesterday as Englebrecht packed away the last of his accumulated gear in his new barn.
On Friday he raced his last HNWRA meeting as a HRNWA trainer at Scone when Power Shot and Equiano both finished out of a place.
“It was always going to be tough for Power Shot,” Englebrecht said.
“She’s had to carry plenty of weight and had been racing around all over the place. The way the race was run didn’t help with the other one attacking her up front. She’s been up a long while and will go to the paddock now.
“Equiano’s run wasn’t too bad (seventh). He pulled too hard during the race, Leanne (Henry) said. There’s a 2100m Class 2 at Gosford and I’ll try her in that. She’s been very consistent.”
Englebrecht did feel a little nostalgic about his move yesterday.
He trained for more than 30 years at Muswellbrook after starting his racing life as an apprentice to his father, Noel Englebrecht.
“Dad used to train there when he worked at the meatworks and then went full time.
“He won a Scone Cup and then I just got beaten in a Scone Cup as an apprentice, then won it with Newton’s Rings. That was a thrill.”
Newton’s Rings was a “one in a million”.
“I’ll never get another one like him,” Englebrecht said.
“I won 22 races for me and ran something like 18 seconds and the same in thirds. $770,000 in prizemoney too. I’ve always been a bit lucky though.”
Newton’s Rings, reported Grahame Timbrell, was a horse no-one wanted. Englebrecht won 22 races with the horse from 1200m to 1600m including such features as the Pacesetter Stakes and Myer Sprint, both at Gosford, and the 2008 Scone Cup.
Newton’s Rings also ran a close second to Eremein in the 2006 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick and a week later finished third in the Shannon Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
Englebrecht’s other good galloper in more recent times was Pecan Player which won the 2000 Wyong Cup and Taree Cup as well as two city races.
“I’m a country boy at heart and the Hunter Valley will always be home but after 30 years I need a change,” Englebrecht said last week.
“There will be more options for my horses and clients by being closer to the major provincial tracks as well as Sydney. However, I will be venturing back up to Hunter Valley tracks when there is a race that suits.”
Wyong, though, is his new home.
“I’ve got a barn of 13 all by myself,” he said.
“I reckon I could throw a rock from the stable to hit the gap attendant. Just keeping my fingers crossed we can have a bit of success here.
“I’ve got a few older ones coming back in with a lot of new young ones. Should be fun. I only live 10 minutes away too, at Woongarra. It’s very central to everything too.”