Chelsea Faithful scored her first winning double as a trainer at Winton on Saturday. Photo: Jonny Turner.
Rookie trainer Chelsea Faithful notched a career highlight at Winton on Saturday when her whole team scored victories.
The horsewoman only has Tartan Trilogy and Toby O’Gara in work and they both ran to wins on their home track.
“At the moment they are the only two I have got in work, so it was pretty amazing,” Faithful said.
Tartan Trilogy continued his resurgent season by winning his second race as a nine-year-old for driver Nathan Williamson.
The pacer has been in the best form of his career since returning to racing after competing in A&P show events while overcoming injury.
Faithful notched the second leg of her winning double when Toby O’Gara ran away from his opposition to win by two and a half lengths for driver Shane Walkinshaw.
A change in the horse’s training techniques was a key to the victory, Faithful said.
“I have changed my training with him for his last three starts and it seems to have helped.”
“I don’t think I was working him hard enough and he has thrived off the change of work.”
Toby O’Gara was effectively a cast-off when coming to Faithful’s stable late last year from her employer, Nathan Williamson.
“He has always been a horse that has had one problem after another.”
“It was four to six months after I started at Nathan’s and he was one of my favourites, so I had to see if I could lease him.”
Tartan Trilogy and Toby O’Gara are prepared at Faithful’s stable, which is just metres away from Winton racecourse.
“I bought the stables coming up a year ago.”
“They are next to Lauren Pearson and Brent Barclay and Tracie McGrannachan.”
“The boxes were quite little, so we are slowly getting them a bit bigger and up to my sort of standard.”
“My grandad has been a lot of help with them and so has my mum, as well as Stew Thomson.”
Faithful’s grandparents, Norm and Bev Cox, race Tartan Trilogy.
Though Faithful is a race-winning driver herself, she was not in the sulky behind either of her winners.
She said putting a senior driver on her charges was part of her training philosophy
“I just like having Nathan and Shane on.”
“I feel like it is good for me to have them there to tell me what they think about the horses.”
“Senior drivers are so much more on to it and quicker, it makes so much more difference having them on.”