Little urges officials to build new training base

CAULFIELD’S longest-serving trainer Colin Little is disappointed the Heath will no longer be a training base and has questioned the need to ­relocate trainers to Cranbourne and Pakenham.

He said Racing Victoria and the government needed to build a state-of-the-art training centre near Werribee.

“You go over to Chantilly (France) and Newmarket (England) and see what they’re like. We’ve got nothing like them here,’’ Little said. “Why don’t they buy a parcel of land which they could build a training centre like them.

“This was discussed a decade or so back and nothing came of it. I think they need to look at it again. With Flemington also likely to shut down as a training centre, they need to do something.”

Little said racing administrators always took a short-term approach rather than a long-term one. He said he wouldn’t train at Pakenham or Cranbourne.

Colin Little wants Racing Victoria and the government to build a state-of-the-art training facility near Werribee.Source:News Limited

“Pakenham, or more precisely Nar Nar Goon, is too far out and I don’t want to train from Cranbourne,’’ Little said. “I would say I’d move to Mornington when I have to for the lifestyle.

“It’s a disappointing decision, although we’ve known about it for some time. To ­actually get a date (2023) makes it more real.

“Caulfield is a very good training centre with lots of winners, especially in the past 10 years. Everyone here is very disappointed. We’d fight if we could, but we know it would be futile.”

Another Caulfield trainer, Henry Dwyer, said he hoped RV and the government could compensate trainers who need to relocate.

Caulfield is set to close as a training base in 2023. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

“They don’t have a legal ­obligation to do this, but I feel they have a moral obligation,” Dwyer said. “There’s got to be some recognition of the time, money and effort trainers have put into their Caulfield stables and that they have to relocate.

“It’s some assumption we all have to relocate to Pakenham or Cranbourne as it may be not the best option for the trainer. I haven’t had time to think about it. I’ll go to wherever suits my business best.”

Manny Gelagotis, who moved to Caulfield only in July, said trainers knew it was coming but the industry had an obligation to help them.

“Mick Price, Ciaron Maher and Colin Little have been there a long time and need to be looked after,” he said.

Originally published as Little urges officials to build new training base

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