Forbes resident Peter Maher, operator of a shearing supplies business and a former shearing contractor and wool buyer, more recently has ventured in to racehorse ownership and with some good results, including a win with Sneak Preview last week at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Peter is a member of a syndicate which also includes Matt Coady the stock manager at Nutrien Ag in Forbes and Michael Nestor from Dubbo , the father of Kody Nestor who until last June trained Sneak Preview at Dubbo.
The late Michael Morris from Dubbo and a former Red Bend College student at Forbes was good friends with Peter Maher and encouraged him to join the syndicate.
Under the care of Kody Nestor, Sneak Preview won at Dubbo (twice), Orange, Kembla Grange (Highway Handicap) and Coonamble .
The Coonamble win in 2020 was the $150,000 Western Racing Association Qualifier for the Country Championship Final at Royal Randwick where Sneak Preview finished midfield on an unsuitable very heavy track.
Notable placings for Sneak Preview included 3rd in the Diggers Cup at Narromine and third in the Country Cup at Scone.
Following the decision by Kody Nestor to take a break from racehorse training, Sneak Preview was transferred to high profile trainer David Vandyke in Queensland.
First up from a spell, Sneak Preview as a $6 chance and ridden by Ryan Maloney in the Benchmark 78 Handicap at the Sunshine Coast, came with a strong run from seventh on the home turn to win in a close finish from the short price favourite Better Get Set (Kyle Wilson-Taylor, $1.60) and Bombasay (Ben Thompson, $19).
The other gallopers part owned by Peter Maher, Majestic Wings and Vital Verse, have both been winners.
Trained by Cody Morgan, Majestic Wings, has a good record at its home track with a win and three seconds at Tamworth, one of those second placings being in the $49,000 Jardell Cup.
First up for trainer Kody Nestor, Vital Verse as the $1.40 favourite and ridden by Tony Cavallo was an easy winner at Dubbo then later had placings at Narromine and Dubbo.
Vital Verse had one start for Dubbo trainer Clint Lundholm in November then went for a spell.
Former champion jumps jockey Frankie Stockdale worked his horses at Forbes Racecourse before having starters at the recent Gilgandra TAB meeting.
Accompanied by his wife Julie and daughter Franki, the Packenham (VIC) based trainer is on a working holiday with plans to race his five horse team at Rockhampton and Cairns in Queensland.
Briefly interrupting the journey to race at the transferred Parkes meeting at Gilgandra, Stockdale had two starters, the 2400 metres stayer Dubai Moon, a strong finishing third over 1280 metres in the opening event won by Starlink and Riverside Special which came from last for an unlucky third to Arctic Rover.
The son of trainer Bill Stockdale, Frankie Stockdale as a 15 year old apprentice riding at his first meeting won at Traralgon on Call Me Luck trained by his uncle the late Allan Douch.
A brilliant young rider with over 60 winners including wins on Melbourne tracks, Stockdale by age 17 had become too heavy to continue riding on the flat and switched his attention to jumps racing where he became a star.
In a sport which requires plenty of courage from a rider, the many wins for Frankie Stockdale included the 1994 Grand National Hurdle at Flemington on Tennessee Blue for trainer Jim Houlihan, the 1996 Grand National Steeplechase on Best Endeavours for trainer Pat Hyland, the Australian Steeplechase at Flemington on Hussars Best trained by B.J Bennett and the Yalumba Hurdle at Oakbank ( SA ) on Big Zap trained by Allan Douch.
Frankie's wife Julie Stockdale was also a prominent jockey on the Picnic circuit with a highlight being 4 winners on the day at the Hinnomunjie Picnics held near Omeo in the Victorian High Country.
Julie's sister Kerry Farrugia became the first female to outride the apprentice allowance In country Victoria and amongst her many winners in the professional ranks during the 1980's and 1990's she had over 100 wins on horses trained at Sale by her father Mario Farrugia.
Training with considerable success for over 50 years, Mario Farrugia is a Gippsland Hall Of Fame trainer.
With such a horse racing background it was no surprise that Brandon Stockdale, the son of Julie and Frankie Stockdale, was in the saddle from a very early age.
At age 16 Brandon Stockdale after earlier wins rode his first Melbourne winner, Oncebittentwiceshy at Sandown in April 2015.
Earning rave reviews for his great horsemanship after his saddle slipped badly at the start, Brandon in June 2015 rode his first Flemington winner, the $61 outsider Bon Rocket.
The very talented Brandon Stockdale became a leading apprentice in Victoria however a race in 2017 was extra special when he won on Unique Lovely at Moonee Valley, the first Melbourne winner trained by his father Frankie Stockdale.
Further down the track another family member might emerge on the racing scene, seven year old Franki Stockdale who is being home schooled by her parents during the trip to Queensland.
Already a capable rider, Franki has been seen on her little piebald pony trotting behind her father Frankie as he exercises his gallopers.
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