BURRUMBEET Cup winning trainer Austy Coffey is as proud as punch when he talks about the jockey who steered Vianden to victory in the 2018 Petrogas Regional Burrumbeet Cup – his son Harry.
The Swan Hill based trainer, who is also a qualified farrier, established his stables in the late 80s.
“We have 15 horses in the stable, struggled to get a top liner , but going good and having a lot of fun,” Austy said after the win.
Vianden, a six year old chestnut gelding, was ridden to perfection by Harry Coffey.
“Harry is amazing. He has won in Melbourne and is now struggling trying to get back into the city, he is that determined and that good at it and will probably get back riding into the city, I’d say,” Austy said.
“He suffers with cystic fibrosis and treats himself every day, has 30 tablets every dayhe is amazing and I probably wouldn’t be training if I didn’t have him.” Harry had his first ride in a race at age fifteen, where he ran second.
“When he wanted to be a jockey we went to the stewards in Melbourne and they said ‘nah with your sickness’, that’s the way it is, and that took three goes,” Austy explained.
“He is 22 now he has just been in hospital for the last two weeks – he has been in for a ‘tune-up’ as they call it. Every three months he has a fortnight off for treatment.” Harry has ridden Vianden in almost every start.
“He is a beautiful rider, a great talented bloke,” Austy added.
The stable is trying to win the Country Horse of the Year with Vianden and with that goal in mind entered the gelding in the Camperdown Cup last weekend, where he placed 3rd.
“There is a big do in Melbourne after the racing season and all the country people go to it,” Austy said.
“We have been going for years with friends, having a table and winning nothing, our friends win things and we’d love to win the Country Race Horse with him (Vianden), that’s what we have set out to do.” Vianden’s wins include cups at Burrumbeet (1/1/18) and Nhill (26/12/17), Tatura (10/12/17) and the Elders Mt Wycheproof Cup (4/11/17).