First stakes runner for new racing venture
Anthony Mountney might not be a household name in Sydney racing but he brings a diverse and colourful background to his latest training venture.
Mountney will saddle up his first stakes runner when former Tulloch Lodge galloper Belieber contests Saturday’s Group Three Eskimo Prince Stakes, while stablemate Gave Me You tackles the $1 million Inglis Sprint.
Both horses are owned by Anthony Bertuccio and Tony Lavalle, who have established a private racing operation at Kembla Grange with Mountney as their trainer.
With more than three decades of experience with horses during a career that has led him around the world, Mountney is taking the milestone in his stride.
“I suppose over the years I’ve had success in a lot of other things and done well with other competitions overseas so you don’t get overawed by it,” Mountney said.
“Yes it’s a stakes race and we want success for the owners, we want the horses to be safe, but at the end of the day it’s no different, for me personally, to taking a maiden horse to Kembla Grange.
“If the work is done at home there is nothing for me to get too nervous about.”
Mountney grew up in a pacing family in Tasmania before working for one of the state’s best-known trainers in Graeme McCulloch.
After a trip to Europe, he spent a decade with performance horses before he was lured back to the thoroughbreds as private trainer for the Wells family.
More recently, Mountney was travelling back and forth to the UAE where he did some work for Sheikh Mansour before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
“I’ve worked in different parts of the world. I’ve done time in Spain, time in England, I’ve done a number of times in the UAE so I’ve been able to experience racing and work with good trainers in all different parts of the world,” Mountney said.
“If you’re willing to watch and ask and work with people you hope some facets of it will keep you in good stead down the track.”
Both Belieber and Gave Me You are at triple-figure odds for their respective assignments at Randwick and Mountney is realistic about their chances.
But he believes both will have nice futures as they mature.
“They’re obviously rank outsiders. We’re taking young kids in against mature men,” Mountney said.
“The thing for me is for the staff to be excited, they do a great job, for the ownership group to be excited and I get enjoyment from that.”