Metropolitan racing heads to Gawler this Saturday and one of the most popular figures in the town is local trainer Gary Searle.
In the last five years, Searle has trained 26 winners at the track, the fifth most overall behind some of the bigger name stables of Phillip Stokes, Tony McEvoy and David and Richard Jolly.
Searle has been based at Gawler for the last fourteen years after moving back to South Australia after a stint in the Northern Territory.
“We had been living in the Territory for 22 years and the kids were getting to school age so we decided it was time to come home. My wife was from Gawler, so we decided to give Gawler a go.”
The Gawler lifestyle and community has suited Searle down to a tee.
“It’s nice and quiet out here away from the hustle and bustle of Morphettville. The people of Gawler are very good. The town is very horse racing oriented and the older people absolutely love their racing. They always come along to the track.”
Searle has hit some great form coming into Saturday’s Metropolitan meeting, recording a treble at Gawler last Wednesday with Siliconni, Lady Silhouette and Copernicus all saluting.
“I had five winners in one day in the Territory but that was three in Alice (Springs) and two in Darwin.”
“That was an equal PB for me at Gawler. I’ve had a few trebles at Gawler before. It’s always great to get a winner on your home track, especially for the local owners.”
After track renovations to the Gawler surface at the start of the year, Searle is happy the track is back up and running.
“It’s been tough not racing here since January as I get a lot of my winners at Gawler. I believe there is a home track advantage. I find my horses always find a couple of lengths at home.”
Searle will have four horses run around on his home track on Saturday and he thinks last start winner Lady Silhouette is the pick of the bunch.
“I’ll back her (Lady Silhouette) up after her win last Wednesday. She has a magnificent record at the home track (10:4-2-2). If it wasn’t at Gawler I probably wouldn’t be backing her up, but with her record at the track and the city money on offer I think she’s a chance.”