Behind The Barriers With...
One of the best parts about being involved in the racing industry is all the people you meet, from so many different walks of life. Today, let me introduce you to Ballarat based horse trainer, Pat Cannon...
Princess Park Thoroughbred Farm is a boutique and holistic thoroughbred training operation located in Nagambie, in Victoria's North East. Founded by Adam Palmer, it offers training, pre-training, spelling and breaking-in services. A second stable dedicated to horses in full training was set up at Ballarat in mid-2016.
Coming from a family with a rich racing knowledge and pedigree, Pat has been Princess Park's head trainer for 3 years. Starting his career in Warrnambool, Pat then moved to Flemington under the tutelage of Steve Richards and the Aquanita team, among others. He recently celebrated his first metropolitan winner with Punt Club at Moonee Valley.
With both your father and grandfather horse trainers, did you always want to follow down the same career path?
Yes, I always wanted to work with horses, I even use to wag school to be with them! Back in those days it was for the love of the horse not the money.
Who was your biggest influence in the early days of your career?
I'd have to say Jocka Bailey. He was my first boss and taught me to work hard. Trainer Robert Smerdon also taught me so much as well. (Pat worked under Robert at Aquanita Racing for more than 10 years prior to taking out his own trainers licence).
Do you have any racing superstitions or raceday rituals?
Not anything too specific but I do like to keep things very routine and try stick with certain jockeys, especially when you're on a good run with them.
Any particular race you'd love to win?
Obviously all of the big ones but being from Warrnambool, winning the Listed Wangoon Handicap and the Warrnambool Cup, two feature races in the Warrnambool May Carnival, would mean a lot.
If you had to participate in a reality TV show, what one would you choose and why?
Masterchef. I fancy myself as a cook but more of a food critic than anything!
What’s the strangest thing in your car’s glove box?
It's probably not too strange but I do have a stubby holder in the car to keep my cans of coke cold.
Who would you most want to be stranded with on a deserted island?
Martin Mills, the owner of last year's Caulfield Cup winner Jameka. I think he'd have to be one of the luckiest blokes alive, everything just works for him!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
CLICK HERE To find out more about Princess Park or get in touch with Pat.