Taylor heading home to join RACE

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  • February 05, 2024
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By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing administration ranks will receive an injection of youth and enthusiasm in April with the addition of Brad Taylor to the RACE team.

Taylor has enjoyed nearly seven years as the racing manager for Freedman Racing in Melbourne, but felt it was the right time to return to New Zealand and take up a new opportunity as General Manager of Racing with Race, the operator of Awapuni and Trentham racecourses.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity, it is going to be a good challenge,” Taylor said. “New Zealand racing is going the right way at the moment with the recent announcements and prizemoney increases, and this is the next stage of my career.

“I have been the racing manager for Anthony and Sam Freedman for a number of years now and enjoyed great success. I have got no interest in training, and administration is where I always wanted to go.

“When this opportunity presented itself, it was a good opportunity to get home and be closer to family. We have a young family that is growing up quickly. We have got two kids, Pippa was four yesterday and Luke is two, so it will be nice to get them home and settled in before Pippa starts school next year.

“Jayne’s (Ivil, partner) family are from Palmy and mine are from Dunedin, so we will be a  lot closer to everyone.”

While set to oversee racing operations at Trentham and Awapuni from his Palmerston North base, Taylor said his role will also incorporate Hastings.

“They are three great tracks that host some of New Zealand’s biggest racing carnivals, so I am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Taylor has enjoyed a lot of success in Melbourne with Freedman Racing, but rates Without A Fight’s Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) double last year as the clear highlight.

“Nothing beats the spring we have had,” he said. “To be a part of a Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winner, growing up those are the races you dream of being a part of, and to have a small part in the team to win like that was incredible.

“There has been a lot of success with Anthony and Sam. They are right up there with the best trainers in Victoria, without having a huge team. I will always be indebted to them for the opportunity they have given me. It has been great to be a part of their journey.

“I have learnt a lot over here and I am looking forward to hopefully add a little bit of difference to New Zealand and build on what is there already.”

The move back to New Zealand will also mean Taylor’s partner, Jayne Ivil, will leave her presenting role with Racing.com.

“She has built a wonderful profile while over here and hopefully we can find something for her in New Zealand, I am sure there will be a few offers,” Taylor said.

Taylor said he will miss many aspects of Melbourne, but he is looking forward to the next stage of his life back in New Zealand.

“I will certainly miss Melbourne, and what Melbourne has to offer, but I am looking forward to getting home and getting stuck into the new job,” he said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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