Talk about a man and a horse. Talk about the mattress man Noel Lamey. Only has up to three thoroughbreds in work at any one time and that’s enough.
“To work one of my horses takes an hour and half,” Lamey said on Friday while confirming Mishani Persauder and the import Zanughan will start at Rosehill on Saturday.
“My day starts at one o’clock in the morning and finishes at six that night when I walk in the front door.”
Of course, in between devotely fine-tuning thoroughbreds, usually of the broken down variety, Lamey has another business to run.
“Mr Yawn mattresses, that’s my business,” Lamey said.
The 57-year-old was riding ponies at the age of four. He hailed from a family of lucerne farmers. The list he has associated within the racing game both past and present is enormous.
Far too many people to name but “Sammy Howard and Jack Thompson taught me how to ride” for Lamey was an apprentice jockey until weight forced him out.
“I still ride my horses in all their work,” Lamey said. “I still ride one and lead one.”
Lamey reckons his horses “don’t do much galloping” for “you get paid to gallop on raceday”.
“A bit like John Size, no more than 400m, mine do a lot of pacework don’t get me wrong,” said Lamey who used to exercise the mighty Tails for trainer Pat Murray.
“Used to ride him up the back of Randwick where John O’Shea’s stables are now.”
Unwanted gallopers whose careers were supposed to be over due to suspensory problems, bowed tendons and the like have ended up at Lamey’s joint.
Horses like Just Jon, Breloch, Locharber Lad, Cedar Rapids, Monte Grande and the list goes on. Locharber Lad was once in the Bart Cummings stable but wind and suspensory problems didn’t stop Lamey from winning eight races with the galloper.
Patience and devotion to the animal being the key. Lamey isn’t phased that it may take him 12 months to get a thoroughbred right.
“We’ve had Zanughan for about 15 months,” Lamey said.
“It has taken him a long while to acclimatise and I don’t expect he’ll do a lot tomorrow, it’s too short for him.
“He won over a mile and half in Ireland, he was group three placed, won a listed race over there.
“He did win a trial at Rosehill the other day but I don’t think they were crash hot.”
Lamey is eyeing off races like the “Newcastle Cup and Metropolitan” for Zanughan “is an out and out stayer”.
While Zanughan, which was formerly owned by the Aga Khan, is a work in progress Mishani Persauder is ready to go.
“I think he’ll win tomorrow,” Lamey said.
“I’ve only had him a month and I think he is a good horse. The day Red Alpha won at Wyong the owner rang me and asked me to train him.
“He sent him down from Queensland, he is a BOBS horse and the form around him is very good.
“I think he’ll just win.”
By Craig Young