crio’s Q: Cattle or Trainer?

How good the trainer?
You gotta have the cattle.

$3m for Malthouse.
Lyon engineers Freo resurgence.
Gai set to dominate Spring.

Coaches/trainers/managers forge big reputations. They are big news and command big incomes.
But how can you rate them?
Alan Joyce (not Qantas’!) is a dual Premiership coach.
Hirdy’s side missed the finals.

Is it that simple?


  1. Crio,

    It’s the cattle first and foremost.

    Carlton were flag favourites after 6 or so rounds, then Waite goes down, Judd gets suspended, Murphy out etc. I wonder how Ratten feels, what could have been, maybe just bad luck/injuries at the wrong time lost him a job. The cattle are there, they’re just not on the field often enough.

    Brian Murphy, trained a Sandown Guineas and AJC Derby winner-Durbridge-despite the owners! Yeah, Freedman won plenty of Group 1’s with him but he got a good horse. Brian was a pretty experienced horseman but he really never had another good one.

    How many winners did Harry Telford train after Phar Lap?

    James Hird is an interesting one. Essendon were pretty poor last year but great for more than half the season this year, he can probably coach but we don’t really know yet, next year will tell but he also looks to have some good cattle, they just keep getting injured.

    Think of all those leading trainers like Gai. They’ve taken on the Cliff Fahler methodology big time. 100 early 2yo’s and how many get to the races maybe 25% and then how many race as 3 or 4 yo’s, maybe 10% of the original 100. It’s a numbers game and while they are good trainers, there are plenty of other people who don’t have much of a profile who get good horses and often ones that can go on over a few seasons or maybe get races out of horses that so called leading trainers can’t…..maybe trainers like the man of the moment Peter Morgan who was pretty much unknown a few years ago in Melbourne ( I guess before I am Invincible)

    David Hayes,? I think he can train.. the cattle missing?

    Alex Ferguson- great manager or does a few hundred million buy the cattle? and then there’s Chelsea, buying the cattle certainly worked there.

    A good trainer or a good coach goes a long way and there will always be exceptions but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear…you need the cattle!

    How’s that for a mixed metaphor.

  2. Thanks Jock…you’d have been eliminated if not including the “silk purse” analogy!

    J.R. Hawkwes was a good trainer in Adelaide, a leading trainer with the Ingham empire and now gets very mixed results from a pretty good stable.

    Norm Smith couldn’t help the Bulldogs!

    The answer (if it exists) may lie in a chef’s truism…you need good ingredients and then the skill to use them properly.

  3. OK – you 2 seemed to have cleared that one up. Next question?

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