The landscape of horse racing has been sculpted by many great trainers. For hundreds of years racegoers have witnessed racing miracles produced by our industry’s greats. But how do they become great? How important is it for our industry to continue to produce new talent on the scene? Over the new racing season, we will be looking at up and coming trainers and how they are changing the landscape of training.

Clayton Douglas

After an explosive entrance to the scene on Saturday, we can’t help but be intrigued by Clayton Douglas. At 27, he’s just won the world’s richest race. An extraordinary event for someone who has only been training for two years.

Carving out a career in the racing industry was a given for Douglas considering his father and two uncles have all trained successfully. However he did have a very successful career in the saddle over both flat and jumps before embarking on a training career. Clayton steered home 258 winners with career highs winning the Australian Steeplechase at Sandown and the inaugural Jericho Cup at Warrnambool in 2018.

He has spent time with the likes of Pat and Michael Trotter, John Leek Jr and Anthony Freedman. It was here he rode the likes of Super Seth who went on to win the Caulfield Guineas. Since hanging up his saddle and turning his attention to training, Clayton has produced a steady stream of winners and Saturday’s result is what dreams are made of.

Giga Kick

Giga Kick has become the first undefeated Everest winner and the second 3-year-old to win the feature race. You can only imagine the sheer elation prominent owner Jonathan Munz and Pinecliff Racing must be feeling. Especially Pinecliff’s racing manager Rodney Douglas who just so happens to be Clayton’s uncle and an influential mentor during his evolution to becoming a trainer.

Giga Kick heading back to the winners circle after his win in the Everest.

Looking through the sale results, Giga Kick was nominated for the 2021 Scone HTBA May Yearling Sale for Middlebrook Valley Lodge but was later withdrawn. Interestingly, his older full sibling Miss Gaga was purchased for $6100 by Glen Kent at the Magic Millions 2020 online sale and is currently in training with Wayne Francis and Glen Kent in Strathalbyn. She’s only had the one start in June where she ran 6th at Murray Bridge.

Douglas seems to be a shrewd buyer as well as trainer. In 2020 he purchased a yearling in the June Inglis Digital Sale for only $11,000 who he named Midnight Charm. He currently boasts a career of two wins and a placing collecting 4 times his purchase price in prizemoney in his first prep.

His very first runner was a winner. He has currently saddled 200 starters, 42 of them have been placed while 27 of them have been winners. Two of those have been Group 2 and Group 3 winners. While the Everest doesn’t have a black type rating, it would be fair to say he won a race that equalled Group 1 quality.

Race with Clayton

According to his website, Clayton Douglas Racing, he currently has four horses with ownership opportunities available. You can’t help but wonder how quickly these will be snapped up with Saturday’s success. Clayton has 41 horses under his care and is currently being supported by influential owners and syndicators of the industry such as Rosemont Stud, Blueblood Thoroughbreds, Pinecliff Racing, OTI and most recently James Harron Bloodstock when selecting him for his Everest spot.

The best part of Saturday’s success is that it looks like we will be seeing more of Clayton Douglas as Giga Kick will continue to defend his perfect record over the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November.