Dabernig chooses new home

Jun 18, 2021

Written By Ben Sporle for racing.com

Tom Dabernig has landed on Warrnambool as his new training base as he prepares to saddle up his final runners for the Lindsay Park team this weekend.

The 45-year-old has spent 25 years under the famous family banner but is set to close that chapter of his career as Ben and JD Hayes officially become a training partnership on Monday.

“I will have nine temporary stables in the interim and I have stables being built on-course, which are expected to be completed by December or January,” Dabernig explained.

“For the initial six months it will be a tiny stable, but it will keep me ticking along.

“We will have a few youngster horses for a few loyal clients that will help set me up.

“But there is interest to encourage older, tried horses to the stable as well.”

Dabernig’s on-course stable complex will accommodate 45 horses, with access to beach training the main attraction of the seaside town.

“I’ve always had ambitions for beach training and have never been able to given where we had been located,” said Dabernig.

“I remember my grandfather would often talk about it along Semaphore beach.

“In recent times I’ve always admired the Warrnambool-trained horses that we have competed against.

“I think you are constantly evolving and this will be a development for me and something I have always been curious about, I think there are great benefits for recovery and keeping horses sound, so it will be an experiment for me.

“Even though we had the metro stable as well, I have always trained from country areas and in my heart that’s where my heart and passion is.”

Dabernig joined his uncle David Hayes as co-trainer of Lindsay Park in 2014 and trained 19 Group 1 winners in his time as part of the training partnership, which was later expanded to includes Hayes’ son Ben before Ben Hayes and Dabernig took the reins when David Hayes relocated to Hong Kong.

“JD was always coming into the partnership, so it was always in the back of my mind what to do next,” Dabernig said of the change.

“I’m ready to be independent and keen to train on a smaller scale now.

“The big numbers were a great experience but at this stage I’m keen to train a smaller team and be a lot more hands on.”

The announcement is a big win for the Warrnambool Racing Club, which released a statement on Friday of the latest addition to their training ranks.

“It’s fantastic to have Tom and Cassi Dabernig picking Warrnambool as the place to go out on their own and start their racing business,” the WRC statement read.

“Their relocation will be a great fit and will complement the existing trainers base at Warrnambool. It sets the Warrnambool training complex up for a bright future and challenges the club to continue to invest in its training facilities.”

Dabernig officially finishes with Lindsay Park on June 25 and expects to be in Warrnambool for the first week of July.