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Posted 2023-12-21 03:28:16  
Eustace Named as New Hong Kong Trainer

For almost as long as he can remember, David Eustace has craved an opportunity to train in Hong Kong. As of next season, a dream becomes reality for the well-travelled young Englishman, who boasts strong family links to the city’s racing community.

As the nephew of former Hong Kong-based horseman David Oughton, Eustace’s formative horse racing memories were filled almost as much by his uncle’s globe-trotting exploits as those of his Newmarket-based father, James, who was also a trainer.

“My mother Gay is David Oughton’s sister and as a nine or 10-year-old, I was aware of David training over in Hong Kong and thought that it would be an amazing experience to train there eventually and it has genuinely been something in the forefront of my mind since then, really,” Eustace, 32, said.

“I remember Mum getting faxes from David when they had a winner in Hong Kong. That was the only way of communicating it. I remember Precision winning a Group 1 in Hong Kong and I was very young. So, Hong Kong was always there with winning photos in the kitchen in Newmarket.

“It’s a great honour to be invited to train in Hong Kong. There are limited spots and there’s fierce competition, which certainly excites me. I think it’s a rare opportunity for someone probably of my age to be able to go there and hopefully have a long and successful career - that’s certainly the aim.”

Having grown up in England’s racing heartland – alongside his brother Harry, who is now also a trainer in his own right – and working for his father, Eustace quickly embarked on a string of global forays but there was always a lingering ambition – to train in Hong Kong.

“It was just a dream then, but I was very keen to visit (Hong Kong) and I was lucky enough get the opportunity to travel with Dad’s best horse and sprinter War Artist, who ran in the international races and I travelled him over when I was 18 in 2009,” he said.

“I got to do it again with Roger Varian when I brought his horses to Australia and Farraaj, who ran in the Hong Kong Cup in 2014. Farraaj was actually ridden by Andrea Atzeni, who is a good friend of mine and a very good jockey and I look forward to hopefully catching up with him in Hong Kong.

“In 2014, I stayed on for an extra two weeks and did a couple of weeks at the track with Caspar Fownes and David Hall at the track and got a bit of a feel for the place.”

A desire to gain more international experience saw Eustace return to Australia, where he worked for Peter Moody, Peter and Paul Snowden and then ultimately with Ciaron Maher.

“I spent a year with Peter Moody and then another year with Peter and Paul Snowden the year Capitalist won the Golden Slipper and that was fantastic. After that, Ciaron got in touch and I started working with him in 2015,” Eustace said.

Since joining forces with Maher as a co-trainer in August 2018, Eustace has shared in 30 Group 1 triumphs, including the 2022 Melbourne Cup with Gold Trip, among more than 1,500 winners overall. Maher and Eustace won last season’s Australian trainers’ premiership with 347 wins and lead this season’s standings from Chris Waller.

Among other things, the pair credits the use of sports science and data collection as an integral part of their success.

Eustace plans to make full use of Conghua’s world-class facilities and sports science methodology after he settles in Hong Kong and establishes his stable.

“I hope to bring a varied style of training with experiences from the UK, experiences from Australia and with an emphasis on using sports science and data to enhance a horse’s training, longevity and careers in Hong Kong,” Eustace said.

“Communication, whether it be with Jockey Club itself, or with owners, is very important and I intend for it to be absolutely first-class – that’s what I hope to bring to the table along with youth and vibrancy.

“I also understand I am heading one of the most competitive racing jurisdictions in the world and that’s exciting.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing Mr Andrew Harding welcomed Eustace’s licensing and is confident the Englishman will complement Hong Kong’s world-class trainer cohort.

“David Eustace brings a unique skill set as well as extensive experience for a trainer of his age,” Mr Harding said. “He has worked with and learned from some of horse racing’s finest trainers around the world and with his understanding of sports science coupled with established training methods, I look forward to watching David’s career flourish in Hong Kong.

“Importantly, while he has achieved such conspicuous success during his time in Australia, his knowledge and experience of racing in the UK is also of great value to Hong Kong racing, which has always blended talents from around the world, and will help with the sourcing of horses from Europe to complement our world-class level of racing.”

HKJC 

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