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Five minutes with... Grant Morgan

5 min read

Grant Morgan - OnTrack Racing

TDN AusNZ: Where are you from and what is your earliest racing memory?

Grant Morgan: I was born in Bulli, NSW. My earliest memory of racing was the 1981 Golden Slipper won by Full On Aces (Kaoru Star). My parents were small shareholders in ARABS (now Arrowfield) which had the runner up Food For Love (Lunchtime). I was adamant they would run the quinella. As a 7-year-old I was hooked.

TDN AusNZ: Which is your favourite racehorse of all time? Why?

GM: Brazen Beau hands down, but with obvious bias. He was a life changing horse for me and many others associated with him. There are so many great stories and memories he created. It’s still fantastic now to be involved with many of his progeny and it gives me a real kick to see them winning races.

Brazen Beau when racing

TDN AusNZ: Do you have a favourite day on a racecourse? Why?

GM: Rosehill. My parents were very good friends with Mike Wolsey who was CEO of the STC in the late 70’s and 80’s. I hardly missed a meeting there right through until my late teens. I have so many wonderful memories of the people and horses during that era.

TDN AusNZ: Could you tell us how you got into this industry, about your job now and what you love most about it?

GM: When other kids were playing cricket or footy on a Saturday, I’d be at the races with my parents. My first ‘hands on’ experience with horses came in my teens at the nearby harness racing track at Bulli. I finished high school and got a cadetship with the IMB to study commerce. But banking wasn’t for me, and I headed for Randwick as a stablehand to try and work my way up from the bottom.

Doors opened sooner than expected. My first big breakthrough was landing a role with AAP in their racing services division. That position ultimately led me to become the first marketing manager for Eliza Park (now Sun Stud). I went out on my own in 2002 and started OnTrack.

I think the thing I love most about racing is the people you meet. Racing people have the very best of qualities. It’s a shame more kids don’t get an ‘education’ on the racetrack anymore. It’s a real character builder!

Grant Morgan

TDN AusNZ: Who do you believe to be a value sire for the upcoming breeding season? Why?

GM: I think So You Think (NZ) has another level to go to shortly. His yearlings have plenty of appeal physically and they market well to the retail sector.

TDN AusNZ: Is there a stallion that you consider to be under the radar?, and why?

GM: Sooboog is a sire that has pleasantly surprised me this year. They look like they will get up and run early like he did. He could be a bit of a surprise packet.

TDN AusNZ: Which stallion, ever, do you think was the best type?

GM: He might not have been the perfect ‘type’, but I always found the walk of Desert Sun (GB) captivating. A good walker will always get me in. It seems to be a trait of the Green Desert (USA) line and you see that in I Am Invincible. Fortunately, it helped hook me on Brazen Beau when I purchased him as a yearling.

TDN AusNZ: Which first-season sire (other than your own) do you believe is most exciting?

GM: Capitalist and Flying Artie have both impressed me right across the board.

Pride Of Dubai x Fiery Dee (filly)

TDN AusNZ: What was your favourite weanling, yearling or mare purchase this year?

GM: Pride Of Dubai x Fiery Dee (Fraar {USA}) yearling filly (QTIS Yearling Sale). She is all quality, one of the best QTIS fillies I have ever found. Her sire is doing a great job, and certainly the best foal out of the mare. It’s exciting a filly of this quality can earn almost $80,000 every time she wins a Brisbane Saturday metropolitan 2-year-old or 3-year-old race.

TDN AusNZ: Who do you think is a rising star within the industry? (Person not horse).

GM: The job Brendan Parnell has done at Racing Queensland has been outstanding. It is possibly one of the most challenging roles given the three code model and the tricky political climate in Queensland. But I think he has really unified the industry and helped deliver a lot of positive changes to make for a solid structure and a bright future.

Brendan Parnell

TDN AusNZ: What positive change would you like to see in the industry?

GM: I think we need to develop more prestige and privilege around the racehorse ownership experience at the track. Far more needs to be done on standardising the experience across all tracks and making it more user friendly. We need to make people want to jump the fence from being a non-owner. I think our PRA’s and Racing Australia need to put a lot more money into this area and assume more of the responsibility by taking the burden away from race clubs.

TDN AusNZ: If you weren’t in this industry what would you do?

GM: Golf and Rugby League were my other two passions when growing up and I still love both games. So perhaps a crack at a management role in one of them. I think any career associated with a passion is essential. You need to love what you do.

TDN AusNZ: How are you keeping busy in isolation?

GM: Still managing to get out for a bit of golf with my 10-year-old son who loves the game at our nearby golf course. Watching all the old tournaments on Fox has eaten up a bit of time too.