Peter Green – From Standardbreds To Thoroughbreds

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Peter Green – From Standardbreds To Thoroughbreds

By John Curtis

PETER GREEN has seen it all from both sides of racing’s fence!

Having trained and driven standardbreds before joining the “other side” and working as a harness racing steward, he is now focused on putting the polish on training thoroughbreds – and loving every minute of the challenge.

Sydney-born Green, who entered the world at Fairfield Hospital, and his brother Clint took the bit between their teeth just over five years ago to set up Green Brothers Racing and train out of Hawkesbury.

And the 43-year-old was at pains to point out Clint is the older of the pair by 18 months.

“Everyone thinks Clint is the younger, but that’s definitely not the case,” Green said.

“When I decided to take on training racehorses toward the end of 2016, Clint was only too willing to come on board.

“He had financial manager roles with Coca-Cola Amatil and Lion Nathan and now is with NSW Health, so his business acumen is a very important part of the business.

“He looks after the owners and the accounts, enabling me to concentrate on getting the best out of our horses.

“We want to ensure we create a fun atmosphere for all our owners, enhancing their experience on and off the track.”

Whilst Peter Green has interspersed working for the family business Don Green Engineering with his racing career, it is no surprise the latter has won out.

“I have always been around horses,” he said.

“My father Peter Snr trained and drove pacers as a hobby from our place at Kemps Creek, and had winners at Harold Park when it was NSW harness racing headquarters.

“I was 14 and a half when I started driving pacers trackwork at Fairfield, which was our home track.”

Green was a mere 16 years of age when he took out his licence to train and drive, often leaving school early to compete in races.

Trainer Peter Green Photo:


He represented New South Wales in the Junior Drivers’ Championship in Victoria in 2000, coinciding with the Inter-Dominion Pacing Championship, which Shakamaker won that year at Moonee Valley.

“We drove on a number of tracks during the series, competing with the likes of Chris Petroff, Craig Demmler and Mark Read,” Green said.

“It was a terrific experience, and Craig and myself have remained good friends, and speak regularly.”

The Junior Drivers’ representation came after he had gone across the ditch to spend some time with one of New Zealand’s leading harness racing luminaries, Barry Purdon.

“I was 18 or 19 years of age, and felt it would be good experience to go over for a few months,” Green said.

“I had one drive at Addington Raceway (the home of NZ harness racing) in Christchurch and won the race, but never got another opportunity.”

Green returned home and says he drove around 150 winners before jumping the fence!

“I won Sires’ Stakes races at Harold Park, and a chat with one of the stewards there prompted me to hop out of the bike (gig).

“He said ‘why don’t you come and join us’ and I did.

“I got a three-year cadetship with Harness Racing NSW, and worked at tracks all over the State.”

After completing his “apprenticeship”, Green successfully applied for a position in Western Australia as a fully-fledged steward.

He spent three years there, again working at various tracks including headquarters at Gloucester Park as well as chairing the stewards’ panel at meetings at Kalgoorlie.

“I was in WA when Harold Park closed in December, 2010 with the industry making Menangle as its main base,” Green said.

Admitting to some homesickness and needing a break from harness racing, he returned to Sydney after spending three years in the west and joined the family business.

Green’s entry into thoroughbred racing came in 2013 via a share in a filly trained by Grant Allard at Gosford.

“Clint and myself got involved with Grand Syndicates, and Grant did a good job with Hawaiian Rose,” he said.

“She won three races at Gosford (ridden by James McDonald), Taree and Cessnock.

“Whilst it was fun, it just didn’t feel the same as looking after the horse yourself.

“Clint and I had a chat, and I told him I was going to give training thoroughbreds a crack, and he said he was with me all the way.

“That’s how Green Brothers Racing got off the ground.

“It was either Hawkesbury or Kembla Grange, and the former was the better option as it was closer.”

Green’s debut runner was the unraced ex-Victorian Prime Justice, who ran sixth at $31 at Orange on December 27, 2016.

Green persevered with the gelding and, after 13 more runs which included a few placings, that elusive first winner arose in a 2300m Class 1/Maiden Plate at the annual Bong Bong picnic meeting on November 24, 2017.

After starting out initially on course at Hawkesbury, Green now stables his horses at a property at Londonderry.

“It’s not far from the track anyway, and I take them there only for fast work,” he said.

“They’ve got open spaces during the day, and really enjoy it.”

Green is an avid fan of the Inglis Scone yearling sale – and understandably so.

“We’re not a big stable at present, and buying horses for reasonable prices at Scone enables us to generate owners without any problems,” he explained.

Horses such as established pair Butch’N’Bugs and Spanish Fighter, and lightly-raced three-year-old fillies Star Mission (by Star Turn), runner-up at Kembla Grange last Saturday at only her second start, and Flying Shamus (a daughter of Cox Plate winner Shamus Award), all are products of the Scone sale.

Both Sidestep five-year-old Butch’N’Bugs and Bull Point four-year-old Spanish Fighter have already earned giant-killer reputations.

A $3000 purchase, Butch’N’Bugs lifted his earnings beyond $100,000 when he made light of his 62kg to bolt to a runaway five lengths’ victory at Nowra on April 17.

Starting at $26, the gelding upset Godolphin’s $1.18 hotpot Depiction in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) on his home track last October.

He carries the nicknames of the brothers; Peter being Bugs and Clint tagged as Butch.

Spanish Fighter, a $6000 buy and a $15 chance, toppled another short-priced favorite Green Kudos ($1.40) on his home track in an 1100m Maiden in February last year.

Green has nine horses in his care, and says a dozen would be a nice number.

He has trained 15 winners so far with only a small team, and is looking to the future with complete faith in his own ability.

“Like all trainers, I want to race my horses regularly in town and win Listed and Group races,” he said.

“It’s going to take time, but I’m giving it my best shot. I’m confident I can make it happen.”

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