Hard work has paid off – just in the nick of time – for Gawler trainer Brett Campbell, who produced his first metropolitan winner last Saturday.
The impressive win of Indian Gazelle followed stablemate Honey Go Lightly’s victory at the Morphettville twilight meeting the prevoius week and signalled a welcome and much-needed turn of fortune for Campbell and his partner – and strapper – Yvette Lethbridge.
COVID-19 torpedoed some of Brett’s employment options, fast-forwarding his move to full-time trainer, and he admits the past few months have been challenging.
“Honey Go Lightly was my first Morphettville winner and now we’ve had our first Saturday metro winner,” he said.
“We were ecstatic, because it’s been unbelievably tough, financially. We’ve had to put a lot on the line and risk a lot to go into it.
“But we’ve just had to work hard and commit to doing it. The few owners we do have are right behind us and have seen the hard work we’ve been doing, even though the results didn’t come at the start.
“But yeah, we needed that winner at Gawler – and Honey Go Lightly the week before.”
Brett returned to training part-time 18 months ago, after a “four or five-year break” from training. He previously had a training partnership with his father, Ron, and has been around horses for years, in between full-time jobs, including a stint at Goldin Farms, formerly Lindsay Park Stud.
The stable is known as Bay Racing – a mash-up of ‘Brett and Yvette’ – and currently has 14 horses on its books.
“In the past three weeks we’ve just started renting stables at Gawler on the course,” Brett said.
“It was getting too difficult to float them back and forth from my dad’s property to work them each day.”
Brett admits the stable always held high hopes for Indian Gazelle, which scored a powerful win at just his second start, when ridden by Barend Vorster.
“We kept on saying to the owners, ‘This is a good horse, but it’s not quite there yet’,” Brett said.
“So we were shattered after her first trial, when she ran last. She ran greenly and ordinarily.
“But we were ecstatic on Saturday.
“We’ll now go to Gawler in three weeks and after that we’ll start to look at better races, if she gets the job done.
“We know she’s pretty good so we might even target some black type during the Adelaide carnival.”
Brett – who together with Yvette ride all the stable’s track work – hopes the coming 12 months will see Bay Racing consolidate and produce winners on a more regular basis.
“We’d like a bigger stable, maybe up to 20 horses or so,” he said.
“We just want to build up that interest, our name and reputation.”
IMAGE: Gawler trainer Brett Campbell with partner – and strapper – Yvette Lethbridge and Indian Gazelle after the stable’s first metropolitan winner at Gawler last Saturday.