Tumut born and bred trainer Peter Korn has returned to his old stomping ground, winning the first TAB race held by Tumut Turf Club in more than 19 years on Saturday.
Korn, who prepared Graterra for the first event on the card, the Sturt Thoroughbreds 1000m Maiden Plate; was always expecting a big showing from his Congrats gelding.
“He was an absolute good thing beaten on Boxing Day and I thought if I got a inside barrier this time, I would be a real good thing,” he said.
“After he drew barrier one, I thought he was a special”
The four-year-old, who was ridden by Michael Travers, went straight to the front from the inside gate and was never headed, accounting for his rivals by 1.11 lengths in the $12,000 event.
The Kembla Grange trainer was thrilled to have won the race and admitted that he had envisioned winning the first TAB race back at Tumut.
“On the way up, I was saying to my daughter that I would like to win the first race back at Tumut and it just happened to turn out that way,” he said.
“I was quite happy about that, it means a lot to me.”
Korn spent his formative years on the Tumut track, riding work and learning the intricacies of preparing racehorses.
“I rode horses and track work for my uncle Norm Shinn at Tumut and learned how to prepare them for the races,” he said.
“Not long after, I had left and took up training.”
The 68-year-old, who has trained all over the state, gave some insight into his time training thoroughbreds since leaving Tumut.
“I left Tumut in about 1969 and five years later I was training at Inverell and then I trained at Hawkesbury and Tamworth for some time before coming back down to Kembla Grange,” he said.
Korn said that he had been considering a return to Tumut in recent years but just hadn’t found the right property yet.
“I have been homesick for Tumut ever since I’ve left and life has just stopped me from getting back home,” he said.
“I am trying to get back to Tumut and I’m trying to find something in the area and I will be heading that way if things work out.”
Korn, who only has five runners in work at the moment, was impressed by the Tumut Turf Club’s most recent foray into TAB racing but hopes the club continues to maintain a community atmosphere.
“It was terrific, it was very successful and the club stood up with Kembla Grange postponed,” he said.
“Still, I hope they don’t have too many TAB meetings though and keep to their traditional roots and keep getting those big crowds and all the bookies.”
Now that Korn has knocked off one bucket-list item at Tumut, he is preparing for another one on February 15.
“I plan on bringing Uno That back (to Tumut) for a crack at the cup,” he said.
“I have always wanted to win a Tumut Cup and if he runs well at Kembla Grange later this month and all being well, I will be heading there with him.”
The winner of two races at Kembla Grange has won over 1400m and 1500m and has most recently been competing in higher-class events; potentially giving Korn a massive chance to lift the Tumut Cup in 2020.