Owner and founder
Stephen Vardy is the owner and founder of Vardy Thoroughbreds, which was established in 2020.
Steve’s passion and love affair for thoroughbreds began at the ripe old age of 6, after an unplanned visit to Warwick Farm racecourse to watch trackwork on a wintery Saturday morning. The classic scene of seeing a magnificent horse bursting out of the thick fog and into the sunlight, ignited a flame that continued to flourish and glow. From that moment on, the form guide was Steve’s favourite reading material, Saturday afternoons were spent listening to the dulcet tones of Ian Craig and Des Hoysted, and he knew this is where his career was bound to be.
Most kids growing up 40 odd years ago had idols like football players or rock singers – but not Steve. His hero was the late trainer, J.B “The Master” Cummings, and the late jockey, John Marshall.
Whether it’s going to a sale yard, watching trackwork, attending the races, or just being in a paddock full of horses, the calmness and content Steve feels when he’s around them is something that can’t be explained. It’s a feeling that can only be experienced, and he would love for you to experience that with him!
Rest and Rehab
Paringa Stud, based in Gresford, NSW, is owned and operated by Reggie and Beau Blundell. This purpose-built thoroughbred farm in the Allyn Valley on the banks of the Paterson River specialises in spelling, agistment, stock handling and growing out.
Reggie spent 22 years working for and managing stud farms such as Torryburn and Vinery and is utilising those skills to give the horses under her care the best treatment available.
Breaking in and Pre-Training
Hannover Lodge is a thriving thoroughbred facility based in Wilberforce, NSW, only an hour from Sydney and close to all the major city tracks. Owned and run by Hinnerk Hueppe, the farm was named as a tribute to his birthplace Hannover, Germany.
The farm is nestled on an undulating 120 acres, dedicated to “preparing the elite racehorse” offering pre-training, breaking-in, rehabilitation and spelling.
With around 100 horses being cared for on any given day, the team prides themselves on the level of care and attention paid to each horse that comes onto the property.
John Thompson Racing
John Thompson is a fourth-generation racehorse trainer – and a successful one at that as evidenced by his Group One winners expertly executed under his care. The Randwick-based trainer oversees a capacity stable of 50 horses in work at Randwick in Sydney.
John ran Cummings’ Leilani Lodge for Cummings at Randwick for eight years before branching out on his own, where he learnt the value of patience (as Bart famously quipped, it’s the cheapest thing in racing and the least used) and demonstrated his ability with young horses. In the season of 2011/2012, he was Australia’s leading two-year-old trainer.
John has prepared eight Group 1 winners during his career including champion three-year-old Fastnet Rock filly, First Seal.
Thoroughbred racing has been in Gary’s blood from the very beginning, with his mother holding her own training license in the 1980’s while his grandfather rode as a jockey. Gary and his brother began riding at a young age, becoming “mum’s” trackwork riders and breakers before Gary took up training under his own name in 1990.
When the chance arose for Gary to set up his own operation at Warwick Farm Racecourse, he jumped at the opportunity and was able to take a great deal of experience from working alongside the likes of established trainers John Hawkes, Guy Walter and Clarry Conners.
From there, Portelli Racing has established its spot as one of the top training operations within NSW. Gary is well renowned for his hands on approach to training and places a strong emphasis on providing high quality communications to clients.
Nathan Doyle is an up-and-coming trainer based in Newcastle with a team of 35 horses in work. Nathan’s journey began in his hometown, Muswellbrook, before being offered a position in Sydney.
Nathan worked closely with some of the world’s greatest racing names, including 5 years with champion trainers Mark Newnham and Peter & Paul Snowden.
In 2019, Doyle Racing was founded by Nathan and partner Melina Gissing in Scone, NSW. After early success, Nathan saw the stable grow and made the decision to expand his capabilities even further in Newcastle. Melina started at a young age, working with highly regarded trainers Bart Cummings and Gai Waterhouse.
A.K.A Racing offers bespoke boutique style training, breaking in and spelling facilities based in the Hawkesbury (Grose Vale) region of Sydney, NSW, and is run by Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan Attard.
Jason fell in love with horses at an early age and made it his mission to become a horseman and breaker. At the tender age of 15, Jason joined the Ingham team at Belmont and quickly established himself as one of the top breakers. He then managed Sid Kelly’s small boutique stud and broke in his horses.
Lucy also showed enormous passion for horses at a very young age, spending her childhood and early teenage years show jumping, hunting, and competing in hunter trials.
Spending 3 years with Chris Waller, she developed her skill set even further and gained valuable experience in all aspects of training, organising, communicating, and racing with the master trainer himself.
As Jason’s ability as a trainer developed, outside owners wanted him to train their horses. In 2015 Lucy and Jason formally joined forces and began their journey in training and running their own business. Jason’s ability to combine his hands-on skill set with the horses and great training finesse along with his wife Lucy’s talents, offers a formidable team.
Kristen Buchanan Racing
Kristen Buchanan is proof that you don’t need to be based in the city to be a regular metropolitan winner; she has had success in town with the likes of Two Blue, Lucky Liaison, Lucky News, Echo Effect and Niccobelle, just to name a few.
Kristen rides most of the horses in the stable on a regular basis, along with her group of experienced trackwork riders. The team mentality helps her find the best-suited rider and handler for each horse, whilst monitoring their progress and fast tracking their progression.
Buchanan Racing understand that no two horses are alike, and pride themselves on being a boutique stable that takes a “tailor made” approach to your horse’s individual exercise, feeding, handling and educational requirements.
Marc Quinn Racing
Marc Quinn’s trade began under his father, the late Pat Quinn of Rosehill. Marc is very passionate about training and thrives on challenges. He prides himself on the transformation of many horses, bringing them back to winning form.
Marc’s natural ability saw him broaden his skills in Ireland, with world-renowned trainer, Dermot Weld. Returning to Australia, Marc worked with legendary trainers Peter Snowden and Wayne Hawkes of Crown Lodge fame.
Marc Quinn Racing has a hands-on approach, giving maximum attention and the highest level of care to all horses under his management.
Anderson Racing resides within the Eagle Farm infield stabling complex in Queensland, offering safe, spacious boxes for the horses, rooftop viewing platforms, high-end security, landscaped spaces for use by trainers, and owners, modern waste collection, and generous staff amenities.
Unlike a lot of trainers who were born into the racing industry from generations of family history, Chris Anderson didn’t take up training until well into his adult life. His late entrance into the training industry has given him the advantage of having no preconceived ideas or outdated family habits to shake, allowing him to focus on developing more modern, and effective training techniques.
Having grown from training one leased horse, right through to jointly operating the largest racing stable in Queensland, Chris in his own right has enjoyed enormous success as a trainer, and has been entrusted to train horses for the likes of owners such as Think Big Stud, Peter Tighe, Sir Patrick Hogan, Glenlogan Park, and Gooree Park Studs.