After weeks of speculation, John O'Shea has been officially announced as the new head trainer for Darley Australia, reports racingnetwork.com.au. O'Shea will take over the reins of the powerful stable at the conclusion of the autumn racing carnival in May, whereupon incumbent Peter Snowden will step down. Snowden tendered his resignation last month and intends to establish a stable at Warwick Farm with son Paul. "It's an honour to be given this position to work for Sheikh Mohammed, there are a number of factors mainly being the quality of horseflesh and most importantly the security for my family," he said. "The opportunity to work with Darley gives me the chance to move to a new level, bigger numbers and quality of bloodstock, it is the most coveted training position in Australia if not the world, it is an honour to be considered let alone to be given the position." Darley Australia managing director Henry Plumptre said the decision to appoint O'Shea as Snowden's successor was quite easy as he met all the important criteria. "Is this the worst kept secret in racing?" Plumptre asked rhetorically, "I'm not sure, whether it is, or whether it isn't, the process was a long process and it was something worth going through painstakingly to get the right client for Shekih Mohammed, and ultimately the boss has come to the decision that John is the right man for the job," he said. He added, "John is relatively young and has 10 to 15 years before we wear him out, his knowledge of Sydney, the fact that he has won Group 1s in Melbourne, fantastic family behind him, all of these things are a big part of what Darley does, part of our culture, part of our goals and aspirations here."
Singapore-based Michael Freedman (in his 4th year training in Asia) “has backed his brother Anthony as the right man to take over the family's Markdel stable” & emphasised that “Anthony had always played a bigger role in the family's Australian operation than people realised” reported The Herald-Sun. Michael noted: “He's really been Lee's right-hand man since Lee first got his licence in Yass & then moved to Warwick Farm. Anthony was the first to make that move with him. I was still a kid at school then, but I remember how big a thing it was when Anthony made that move with Lee. Anthony's been integral in the selection process of yearlings (to buy) and, that being a real expert area of his, he's been comfortable in a behind-the-scenes role for the past 25 years plus. But I know he & Lee are really excited about Anthony taking the business into its next step.” Meanwhile Michael Freedman said he had no immediate intention to return to Australia, emphasising: “I'm enjoying it here - things are going well & I see myself here for a while yet.”
Stud manager Richard Scott has joined Victoria's Murchison-based Paringa Park (900-acres on the Goulburn River flats, 1.5-hours north of Melbourne & 14kms from Nagambie). Scott (who worked at Victorian's Stockwell Stud for 13 years & Oamaru Stud for 17 years) commented: "I can't help but be excited about the plans Tim Breadmore, James Neville-Smith & partners at Paringa Park have for the future. A very strong vision has been presented to me & the prospect of getting involved with this commercial operation is both challenging & exciting. The youth & enthusiasm is refreshing & I believe Paringa Park will emerge as one of the most progressive studs in Australia." Paringa managing director Tim Breadmore (who has been in a caretaker role as farm manager since its inception 4 years ago) added: "To secure Richard Scott as our general manager is a great coup for the stud & the Victorian breeding industry. Key personnel are hard to find in this game & it has taken us longer than we hoped to find the right man for the job. It looks like the wait has been worth it." Paringa Park stands stallion Delzao, who won 6 of 27 starts (including victory over Makybe Diva in the Gr2 Feehan Stakes) & earned $1.1 million prize-money.