John Meagher Identifies his sons as the driving force behind the Stables success

May 31, 2013

Story by Ben Dorries and courtesey of the Courier Mail

John Meagher has enjoyed much Group 1 success, including the 1985 Melbourne Cup with What A Nuisance. Here he celebrates winning a Sandown Cup with jockey Brett Prebble. Source: Herald Sun
JOHN Meagher has won a Melbourne Cup and enjoyed a stack of Group 1 glory in a decorated career, but insists he is not the boss of his family training partnership.

The colourful trainer, who won the 1985 Melbourne Cup with What A Nuisance, is quick to turn to sons Chris and Daniel for advice and they can also have the final say in a three-way training partnership.
Meagher, after 13 years in Singapore, is making steady strides from his new Eagle Farm base and expects to unleash a promising crop of two-year-olds this year.

In the meantime, consistent gelding Startsmeup is one of his flagbearers and will contest the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm tomorrow.

Everything Meagher does is with his customary polish and meticulous preparation but he is far from a one-man band.
"I'm not really the boss of the (training) operation," Meagher, 64, says.
"Twice a week I sit down with my boys and we talk about all the horses and work out what is happening and at what stage they are all at.
"We discuss everything, and all of our ideas go into the melting pot.
"Sometimes we go with what one of the boys think, sometimes we go with what I think.
"Maybe I have a good input into the final say but I certainly let them say what they think and they make a lot of the decisions."
Meagher Racing has not been deluged with winners in southeast Queensland in the past few months but Meagher always knew it would not be an overnight success.
"An old bloke said to me a while back it would take me 12 or 18 months to get mobile because I'm not going to get 25 open-company horses straight away," Meagher said.
"We have a lot of young horses that have come into the stable which we have just had to be patient with."

As for Startsmeup tomorrow, Meagher is certain the gelding who finished 2.1 lengths behind Belltone in the 1350m BRC Sprint is a decent chance.
He is keen for the rain to stay away, as he is worried about the inside barrier on a chopped-up racing surface in the final race of the day.
"We just don't need any more rain," he said.
"It's going to be the eighth race, and he's drawn one so I don't know what to expect.
"Looking at his form, maybe barrier one doesn't suit him.
"But his runs have been good. Behind Buffering (in the Victory Stakes) he ran some of the quickest sectionals of the day."