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Bain joins thoroughbred training ranks

South Australian racing has a new trainer in the ranks, with experienced harness racing horseman Aaron Bain expanding into thoroughbreds.

With decades of experience in the harness game, Bain has been considering moving into thoroughbreds for a number of years now.

The momentum behind the SA thoroughbred industry – including recent enhancements at his local training facilities at Gawler as well as those made more broadly across the state – prompted him to finally apply for his training licence with Racing SA.

“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years now, that the progressive move would be to go into thoroughbreds. We just felt as part of the great initiatives that Racing SA is announcing, and the progressive club that the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club is, it was the right time to join the thoroughbred ranks,” Bain said.

“We kick off on the 1st of November, we’ve got some horses lined up already in the stable. We’ll take it from there and hopefully grow with some success.”

Bain grew up in Gawler and was born into harness racing with his grandparents and parents strongly involved through breeding and racing.

His harness business – Aaron Bain Racing – has stables located just a few minutes from the Gawler racecourse which will continue to be the operation’s primary base. He is also in discussions to take-up additional residence on-course, with the plan being to house a number of thoroughbreds in the new stabling currently under development.

“We’ll still be doing the harness racing, we work a team of about 25 to 30 at any one time, and we’ll start off with about half a dozen thoroughbred horses,” he said.

With a solid harness racing ownership base spread across the nation, Bain hopes his established contacts will help him to quickly grow his thoroughbred operations.

It’s fair to say he is already well underway, recently holding a launch event at the Gawler racecourse for 120 current and potential owners.

“We’ve been very fortunate, we’ve got an ownership base of 750 owners from harness racing, so we’ve got a captive audience which are ready and keen to get involved,” Bain said.

“The biggest opportunity we see with this diversification is in terms of our ownership base, we’ve got people involved in harness who want to be involved in thoroughbreds, we’ve also had people approach us from the thoroughbreds who want to be in harness. So I think there’s going to be great crossover there.”

Bain has appointed Ned Taylor as Assistant Trainer to oversee the day-to-day operations for the stable across both thoroughbreds and harness moving forward.

Taylor spent seven years with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable at Caulfield and has spent time under experienced local trainer Will Clarken as well as with Cornerstone Stud.

“We’ve been lucky to appoint Ned to the team, he’s got great experience in the thoroughbred side,” Bain said.

“There’s certainly different styles of training. The amount of work that goes into harness horse is about four times as much as a thoroughbred, so we’ve got to be careful we don’t overwork the thoroughbred but that’s where having Ned’s experience will be able to help us get that mix right.

“They’re a different breed the standardbreds and thoroughbreds, but at the end of the day it’s racing and it’s the animal you love.”

Taylor said he was excited to have the opportunity to share his expertise with the business.

“We’ve got six on our books, a few tried horses including a gelding previously trained in Melbourne. All going well, we’ll have our first runner early in the new year,” he said.

“The new additions here (at Gawler) with the pool and treadmill and the new stables that are going up are going to be state-of-the-art, once we get the horses in there they will love it.”

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