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Hall of Fame trainer calls it a day

3 minute read

After almost five decades, most of them spent at the top echelon of trainers in Tasmania, Gary White will saddle-up his last runner at the Hobart race meeting this Sunday.

In a career with so many highs, White believes the time is right to bow out and start to enjoy some time with family and friends.

"It's a Saturday or Sunday and your friends invite you to a function and you can't go, my son Grayson has moved back to Tassie, my grand daughter is here now, she's six, she had her first soccer game the other day and I couldn't go," White explained.

"I love racing and now we will be able to pop out to the races, sit up behind the glass and enjoy it."

Like many kids back in the 70s White grew up not far from the Elwick track and that's where his love for the sport began.

"I hung around the stables with all my mates, I was about 14 when I started knowing that I was making use of myself down there, I was working around Staffy Devine, Tommy Young and Terry Evans, I got in their way but watched what they did.

"My grand parents lived right by the course and I spent a lot of time with my pop so I used to see all the guys riding around I used to spend all my time watching all the horses. It was a lot of fun that era, we all had a passion for the animal and appreciated what a majestic animal they are."

White stepped out as a trainer is 1980, his first starter Race To Win did just that, scoring by five lengths.

"The second horse I took to the races got beaten a short half head and I thought how easy is this but I quickly found out in the next three months when not one horse weighed in that it wasn't that easy."

In 1985 Scruples gave White his first major win taking out the Launceston Cup, in the next 15 years he had great success in the major Cups and affectionately became known as the 'Cups King' with Free Beer going back-to-back in 95/96 in Launceston.

"Everyone loved him and I guess the name helped, he had that big parrot mouth but he was just a freak, when he won his second Cup it was only his third run back and over 2600m, he made the trainer look good."

Success then came for White in his hometown cup with L'espion 98 and Lord Baracus 2000 winning the Hobart Cup.

"L'Espion at his best, for what he did and how he did it he had that X factor and I'm sure he could have reached greater heights except for his career being cut short."

White also played a major role in Dakasha winning the 2005 Hobart Cup, virtually training the South Australian galloper while he was based in Tasmania preparing for the carnival.

It wasn't just at home where White was a winner he also enjoyed plenty of success on the national stage, the most notable being with Tempest Tost winning the 2009 Magic Millions 3yo Trophy at the Gold Coast……….and while most  would have stayed on to enjoy the spoils White was back in Hobart at the races the next day saddling up his team.

"And not one of them weighed in," he said with a laugh.

Inducted into the Tasmanian Racing hall of Fame in 2009,  White has scaled back his team in recent years, an eye injury to his wife Belinda suffered while saddling a horse has made things that much tougher for the stable.

"She has to have an operation every three months and her not being able to ride, there's just not enough track workers coming through and I'm probably a little bit of a perfectionist and if things can's get done they way I want I don't want to do it."

And while he a Belinda plan to take a well-earned trip around Australia in the near future, White has northing but fond memories when he casts an eye back over a long and successful career.

"I cant complain, it's rewarded me tenfold, it's a great industry and to have the support I've had over the years, particularly from my family, It's been fantastic."

White is certainly not resting on his laurels and is going out with a bang, from his past 12 starters he has saddled-up five winners, he will take a small team to Launceston on Wednesday night and will be active at Hobart on Sunday where the Tasmanian Racing Club has named a race in his honour.

Racing and Sports

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