Somers' Enchanted journey starts at Wyong

7 min read
Brooke Somers is hoping Enchanted Glory (Olympic Glory {Ire}) can take her on a journey from Wyong to the Gold Coast over the next month. It took assistance from a friend to acquire the half-sister to promising young sire Squamosa, the filly will provide Somers the opportunity to train her first stakeswinner.

Brooke Somers has had enough bad luck in her short career as a trainer to know that when you find out you have got a good horse, you have to strike while the iron's hot.

So she embarks on what could prove a Gold Coast dream with her debutant filly Enchanted Glory (Olympic Glory {Ire}) in Wednesday's Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic.

Somers, who boasts a strong background in equestrian and spent considerable time working under Joe Pride at Warwick Farm, only has nine horses in work at Hawkesbury as part of her Somerstone Racing operation.

She takes on some of the biggest trainers in the land at Wyong, including James Cummings, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott as well as the Lindsay Park operation led by David Hayes.

"Every single trainer in that field has had multiple stakes winners, and then there's little old me, with one metropolitan winner," Somers told TDN AusNZ.

"At this point of the year, with a 2-year-old and her being Magic Millions eligible, if you are going to be a bear, be a grizzly."

"Every single trainer in that field has had multiple stakes winners, and then there's little old me, with one metropolitan winner." - Trainer, Brooke Somers

"What other opportunity would I have as a small trainer with a nice horse, if I don’t have a shot at the stumps with a horse that is sound, not shinsore, and eating all her feed and trialling really well. I thought I'd be crazy not to."

Trainer Brooke Somers having a post-race discussion with jockey, Paul King

An impressive recent trial, where the Arrowfield-bred filly missed the start but then challenged the highly-rated Peter and Paul Snowden filly L'çosmo (Lonhro) on the line, convinced Somers she may have a horse worthy of the Wyong feature, and perhaps even the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast next month.

"2-year-olds are very much day-to-day propositions. You just don’t know when 2-year-old fillies might say that's enough, but she's great heading into it and we see how she comes through the run," she said.

"2-year-olds are very much day-to-day propositions." - Brooke Somers

"It will be amazing if she got enough money to be able to run in the race at the Gold Coast. But it’s a dream to come this far and even be in the field."

Turning it around

It’s amazing how a good horse can alter the mindset of a trainer. Six months ago, Somers went to the National Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast with a weight on her shoulders and no money to spend.

"I'd had a run of bad luck. A horse that I recently purchased, I'd bought him from a country trainer and he really improved and then on his third start when he was primed to win, he got himself stuck in a bit of traffic in the run and ended up doing a proximal suspensory and was out for eight months," she said.

"I'd had a run of bad luck." - Brooke Somers

"Then my Mum helped me out and bought a horse off Inglis digital, who we improved and he won a trial at Newcastle. Three days after that. He got cast in a box and had to be euthanised, which was so terribly sad. He was by Squamosa."

That Squamosa connection was to prove important on the Gold Coast, where she ran into a couple of old friends who helped her organise some vendor finance.

The first was Clare Bird, who helped her organise enough to secure a colt by Swiss Ace out of More Assertive (Zedative), from the family of Reset, for $35,000.

The second was Arrowfield Sales and Nominations manager Sally Gordon, who helped Somers get vendor finance for an Olympic Glory filly half-sister to Squamosa, who had been passed in the previous day. Somers paid $25,000 for her.

"She was a beautiful little filly, with deep girth and just a really lovely attitude and the way she walked, was really gorgeous," Somers said. "I was quite enamoured with her and we brought her home."

Olympic Glory

A dream run

"Daniel Robinson broke her in and just basically from day dot, she has been a dream. Everything about her has been easy," Somers said.

"She has been a dream. Everything about her has been easy." - Brooke Somers

"She's got a really good attitude as a filly. She wants to do everything right and please you, but it took us ages for us to sell shares in her, because I'm a nobody, and I've had a bit of bad luck and haven’t had that many winners."

Enchanted Glory resting up before her big race

But since Enchanted Glory stepped out in that Wyong trial last week, Somers' phone has been ringing off the hook.

"My phone just rang like crazy. And it wasn't as if we were selling expensive shares. The shares were really reasonably priced because she was a reasonably priced filly. Now I've got every man and his dog wanted to be in her," she said.

The ethical approach

Enchanted Glory's emergence as a 2-year-old of considerable promise is a turn of good fortune that Somers certainly deserves.

She takes a horse-first approach to her training, something that she describes as 'ethical racing'. It's hard not to be won over by her enthusiasm for educating thoroughbreds so they enjoy a life both on the track and after it.

"We need to do everything we can, so that when they are finished their racing that they are rewarded for the efforts they have made while racing." - Brooke Somers

"Racing can be quite hard on them at times and you push them to do things that you wouldn’t normally do if there wasn't a lot of money at stake," she said.

"I think in fairness to the animal, we need to do everything we can, so that when they are finished their racing that they are rewarded for the efforts they have made while racing."

Using her equestrian knowledge, Somers builds her thoroughbreds up to become easy to handle and easy to ride.

"Everything that we do with horses while training prepares them to be balanced organised, sensible, easy-to-ride racehorses but it also gives them a basis of education for their post racing life," she said.

"All of my horses can do a basic dressage test and jump over some small jumps." - Brooke Somers

"All of my horses can do a basic dressage test and jump over some small jumps, so if I wanted to retire any one of them out of my stable today, it wouldn't take them long to be out at a competition, jumping and competing at a reasonable level very quickly."

All of Brooke Somers horses can perform a basic dressage test and jump over small fences

"They are all very nice to ride and I feel like that's the best way to handle them. I want my horses to know that they will always be in a safe environment and never end up somewhere where they are not loved or taken care of."

It’s an important part of Somers' philosophy built from a lifetime working with horses.

"I read something very poignant when it comes to how we treat how horses. It said the best thing you can do for your horse is to teach it manners because then they will always be loved," she said.

"We have to give them the education so they never end up where they shouldn’t be."