This is a tribute to one of the best mates a bloke ever had. As usual ‘I’ve plundered plagiarized and purloined whenever possible’; in this case from Nic Ashman’s insightful article in the Daily Telegraph on May 12, 2016. It captures the ‘essential Pat’ much better than I could ever have done.
I’d also like to include Pat’s late brother Frank (aka ‘Fag’) who was an enormous support to his younger brother and an equally top bloke. The humour is all there. In addition to the eight (8) premierships Pat won he started over 1000 horses covering years of racing at White Park, Scone; many during my years as Club President 1978 – 1984. There were some ‘hairy’ tales; but Mum’s the word!
I’ve just realised I’ve ‘sandwiched’ Pat between two bushrangers on my website blog! I promise this was an unintended Freudian error. You can believe it; or not?
Pat Farrell was inducted into the Newcastle & Hunter Racing Hall of Fame on Tuesday 18 May 2021.
Veteran Muswellbrook trainer Pat Farrell eyes big-race success at Scone with tough filly Alart
Acknowledge: Nic Ashman, The Daily Telegraph
May 12, 2016 8:17pm
HE’S been training for more than 50 years and popular horseman Pat Farrell says he knows when he’ll stop.
As the Muswellbrook trainer prepares to win his fifth stakes race with tough filly Alart in Saturday’s Listed Denise’s Joy Stakes (1100m) at Scone, he reflects on a career that will only end when it has to.
“I reckon I’ll live until about 92 and the plan is to keep training til that day,” Farrell said.
“I started training at 21 with just a few horses but at one point we had 100 in work.
“Things are a bit different these days – when you turn 74 you start to slow down a bit and now we only have 10 in work.”
During his peak times, Farrell won eight-straight Newcastle premierships and saddled up Food For Love to finish second in the 1981 Golden Slipper.
“Victory Yacht was a good horse, too, as was Proud Knight – he won a San Domenico Stakes and a Challenge Stakes,” he said.
“Food For Love was ridden by Wayne Harris, who of course won a Melbourne Cup (Jeune) years later (1994).”
Farrell had intended to run Alart in Saturday’s $400,000 Scone Inglis Guineas (1400m) but received a call from Racing NSW on Monday advising him the filly was ineligible.
“We hadn’t paid the registration fee for the Inglis series when we bought her,” Farrell said.
“She was a $10,000 purchase and it was going to cost about $2,000 to register – that’s a fair bit extra for a horse we didn’t know could run.”
“So I got a call from Racing NSW and subsequently we decided to run her in the 1100m race.
“It’s not ideal as I have been training her for the 1400m – that’s a distance she has already won a stakes race over – but I think she will cope.”
Alart will carry 59kg in the $140,000 event and will need to be at her best starting from gate 10.
“She has proven herself against some very good fillies and has carried 58kg at her past two starts,” he said.
“I have no doubt she will be very strong late and she is a horse that can go forward or take a sit behind them.
“She’s had three runs at Scone and they’ve never beaten her there. I know this will be the hardest race she has lined up in at the track but at least we know she likes it.”
The trainer is wary of one rival.
“I think the race is between her and James Cummings’ filly Way Too Good,” he said.
“To me, she is the one we have to worry about coming up from Sydney – she ran into an unbeaten horse last week when third and that was off a break.”
Farrell has earned the reputation for having a good sense of humour and when asked about his biggest day at the track – five winners at Newcastle and two at Rosehill – his response was simple.
“Guess there’s no chance of knocking off that record this weekend.”
But he divulged saying it remained his career highlight, but the humour didn’t end there.
“I have a two-year-old running on Friday that was named Pel, which of course is named after George Pell from the Catholic Church,” he said.
“You see – they can’t catch him so how will they catch the horse.”