Moroney's formula for success

4 November 2022 Written by VRC

Mike Moroney began training racehorses at 22 and was one of New Zealand’s leading trainers before moving to Australia in 1999. He trained the 2000 Melbourne Cup winner, Brew, and on Tuesday had a second placegetter in Emissary.

“I joined the racing industry when I was 16 and worked with Dave O’Sullivan in New Zealand but my family already had some heritage in the industry. My grandfather rode the Melbourne Cup winner in 1960 and my mother was a racing fan and sponsored a race in New Zealand at our local meeting. My brother, Paul, works with me and does all our buying and my sisters are also racing fans.

I’ve never wanted to work in another industry. It led to me having lunch with the Queen when she was in New Zealand – I was one of a few people from racing who met her. Paul had spent some time in the UK and knew her horses from way back and that quite surprised her.

Brew ridden by Kerrin McEvoy wins the 2000 Melbourne Cup. (Darrin Braybrook/ALLSPORT)

During the Spring Carnival you run on adrenalin. There’s unpredictability when you are dealing with animals so we constantly monitor them, take their temperature every morning and every piece of information about our horses matters so we know if something is not right.

We start to prepare going into winter and by then we have in the back of our minds what horses are good enough. I sit down with my assistant trainer and racing manager and we argue over what horses will run in certain races! They closely follow each horse’s form and my vet is a key part of the team, too. And it’s then all about peaking at the right time and working out what needs to be done to get them to their Grand Final.

We work hard in racing and we work long and strange hours. I’m out of bed at 3.30am every morning and I’ve been doing that for 40 years now – it’s getting harder. But it makes it all worthwhile when you win.”

Main Image: Michael Moroney. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)