By Bren O'Brien
From playing in the Magic Millions Polo one day to starting a new job as Coolmore's Racing Manager the next, it’s been a big start to 2019 for Rob Archibald.
Archibald, a former polo professional who worked for David Simcock and Hugo Palmer in the UK and for Gai Waterhouse before that, had his first day with Coolmore on Monday and amid a typical busy and chaotic day at the Gold Coast Sale complex, he took some time to chat with TDN AusNZ's Bren O'Brien about his new role.
B O'B: Rob, talk us through how you came to be appointed as Coolmore's Racing Manager and nominations in Australia.
Rob Archibald: When I returned to Australia in October-November, I caught up with Tom Magnier, and he said a couple of roles had come up. We spoke about it for a few weeks and I'm excited to be part of the Coolmore operation.
B O'B: What was it about Coolmore that appealed to you?
Rob Archibald: Being part of a world class organisation that is at the forefront of the industry. We've got some of the world's best stallions. The standard of the craftsmanship is second to none, they are the best in every aspect. Just to be part of the organisation, it’s such a privilege.
B O'B: What are you expecting to be the main duties of your role as Racing Manager and Nominations.
Rob Archibald: In terms of the racing it’s about me keeping an eye on our horses in training, ensuring we get the best out of each horse and communicating with trainers and our various racing partners.
I also look forward to working with breeders with their mating plans. We’ve got an extremely exciting roster with a great balance of proven sires, promising young sires and international superstars.
B O'B: And it’s a big week to start from a racing sense, with Coolmore having Movie Role (Fastnet Rock) in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Rob Archibald: It's always nice to have runners up here at this time of the year. The Magic Millions do a great job with their promotion of the whole event and it is a testament to them. Movie Role is a graduate of our draft from last year and we are very optimistic she can run a good race. She showed great improvement from her first up run when she won at Randwick, and if she can continue on that upward spiral she will be extremely competitive.
B O'B: Having had experience in the thoroughbred industry both here and in the UK, what do you feel are the major differences?
Rob Archibald: The biggest difference is how well the Australians communicate with their owners and how well the trainers give feedback. It’s also how accessible they are. In Europe, you just don’t get that. I've worked on both sides of it, and my year at Gai Waterhouse taught me how important communication is.
B O'B: And it must be a buzz kicking things off at a busy sales week on the Gold Coast.
Rob Archibald: It’s a weeklong festival up here which celebrates everything that is racing. If you love racing, and you love breeding and you love horses, there is no better place to be.
As the first sale of the year, it’s important you set the standard for the rest of the year. This week we are presenting an outstanding draft which we are very excited about.