Image: Bruno Cannatelli
Cox Plate winning trainer Colin Little saw the writing on the wall that retirement was imminent when Caulfield closed as a training centre requiring a move to Pakenham.
Having teamed with Matthew Lindsay in a partnership last year, Little was keen to continue dabbling in training as he had done over the previous 50 years.
But a fall by the trackrider resulting in a fractured vertebra, and Lindsay’s deteriorating back, it left the stable with no-one to ride work.
A phone call from Lindsay as Little was about to board The Ghan in Adelaide last month was enough for the pair to call time on the stable.
“Matt, who is the guts of the stable and one fella I wanted to support in forming a partnership, has struggled with a bad back for some time,” Little said.
“As I was getting on the train, he rang me and said, ‘I’m paralysed, I’ve just got off the last horse and I’m lying on the ground and can’t move’, and in the 10 days since he can only just walk.
“So, we had no riders, a bus company without any drivers, and so I dispersed the stable.”
Once a stable of around 20, numbers had fallen to eight following the move to Pakenham last November and with the closure most of the horses have been sent to Andrew Noblet and Jim Conlan, trainers from Caulfield Little holds a lot of respect for.
However, Little won’t be lost to racing.
He still has interests in a number of horses and one, Vassilator, kicks off his latest campaign in The Resimax Group Plate (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday for Lisa Jones.
“Lisa has pre-trained Vassilator over the years and has always done a good job,” Little said.
“I thought she was the right person to take him on.
“He trialled at Cranbourne on Monday, and we were very happy with his trial and I’m sure she’ll do a good job, so I’ll be out there on Saturday having a look.”
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