It was bought to my attention over the weekend how unusual it is that Danny has so many colts in work. These days’ most racing stables can hardly wait to geld straight after the yearling sales. A lot of trainers believe that having any but the best bred horses remain as colts is dangerous to staff and a nuisance for all concerned.
Danny believes that with the total ban on anabolic steroids it is an advantage to keep a horse as a colt if both his temperament and physical type allow. The reason that he is able to keep so many of his horses as colts is simply because Danny is a real horseman. He is a hands on trainer who is involved in every aspect of care of the horse. Danny does not try to break the spirit of the horse by being too heavy handed. His horses learn discipline early on through routine and kindness rather than rough treatment or standover tactics.
Most people who come to our stables are surprised to see older colts like Neptune Palace and Chilwero, who are rising 4 year olds, be just as gentle and affectionate as the geldings. Danny finds that most colts settle down after their first preparation once they learn the routine of daily life in a racing stable.
Many good judges have often remarked on what an achievement it was to campaign Falvelon as a 5 and 6 year old entire overseas. Falvelon however was not a one off, as he also trained Rash Action (5yo entire) to win several metropolitan races. Possibly one of the highlights of Danny’s career was when Daunting Lad saluted as an 8 year old entire in the Listed Lightning stakes during the Queensland Winter Carnival.
Danny is the first to admit that some colts need to be gelded because they become too heavy in front and this puts unnecessary strain on their knees. Others need to be gelded because they simply don’t focus in their races but he has never had to geld a colt because it was unmanageable or dangerous.
It can’t be underestimated how rare it is to have a trainer in this day and age who is a genuine horseman. Someone who understands the nature of horses and how best to help each horse achieve its best.