Below is a list of our trainers.
Mark Kavanagh - Flemington
Mark Kavanagh is one of the Leading Racehorse Trainers in Australasia and boasts the Highest Runners to Winners ratio of all trainers. Highly respected and admired by his peers, Mark is humble, yet meticulous with the care and management of the animals with whom he is charged responsibility. Let me assure you – these horses are treated like royalty, it is amazing: Stable hands that bond with the animals as their De-facto children, constantly grooming and cleaning the animals, Leading Vets, Physio’s, Chiropractors, Masseurs and personalised food and barn floor mix to ensure optimal health, fitness and an environment where horses are happy and know what they are supposed to do – race and win.
Mark was a successful jumps rider in his day but it’s as a trainer where he has excelled. Mark was living in Mount Gambier when he started training in 1991 and was the leading trainer in the South East District Racing Association for the 1992-93 Season, his first full season as a trainer and; he backed that up with another win in the subsequent 1993-94 season.
He was soon recognized as an astute trainer and was given Red Hope to train after George Hanlon told the owners he would not measure to Melbourne Class. Mark then set about preparing the horse to win the Hilton on the Park Sprint, Laurent Perrier Stakes, Ian McEwen Trophy and Moondah Plate with the big Chestnut. He also won two Liz Davenport Classic and two Whylie Handicaps, a total of 15 races. Mark then opened a satellite stable in Adelaide and soon trained successfully out of both stables. In 2000 Mark and his family moved to Adelaide full time and winners really started to flow. Border Time, Easy Landing, Star Joe, Ez and Imperial Cross were just a few that won Listed and Group races that year.
In 2003 Mark purchased some old stables in Adelaide and set about renovating and rebuilding the whole complex. It is now the best in Adelaide with absolutely first class facilities for 40 horses.
Mark has subsequently set-up one of the largest operations now at Flemington on course and continues to thrive and grow as a trainer. Mark has tasted much Black type success at the highest levels with many top quality gallopers including GROUP 1 winners December Draw, Shocking, Whobegotyou, Devil Moon, Divine Madonna, Maldivian, Hard To Get, Undoubtedly and Current Superstar Atlantic Jewel.
KRD Racing has had a strong association with Mark dating back to our first purchase in 2007 - Shamoline Warrior. Purchased as a yearling, Shamoline Warrior developed into a Boom 3 year old, tasting Listed & Group 3 success in the build up to the 2009 Victoria Derby. Shamoline Warrior was retired to stud after a short stint as a 4 year old, but could not recover to the same lofty heights of 2009 due to a hairline fracture in his pelvis.
KRD Racing currently has 2 promising horses with Mark in Bernzigova and Great De Here. We look forward to continuing our relationship and to our future success with Mark with these high quality horses and optimistically; many more to come.
Shaune Ritchie - New Zealand
In 1984 Shaune Ritchie was fifteen and still at school. Like many teenagers he had a part-time job – in his case working as a stablehand for his father Frank, mucking out boxes and riding work.
One afternoon, while working at the Ellerslie yard, he was told that a new horse had arrived earlier in the day and because Frank’s full-time staff had already picked their teams to strap for the season the new arrival would be his. An inspection of his new and sole team member brought Shaune Ritchie face-to-face with the horse that would set his career path in stone. Bonecrusher had arrived.
Within three months Shaune had left school and was on the ride of his life. Fast forward 25 years – and acknowledge a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears in between – and Shaune Ritchie is now at the top of his game.
Completing his most successful season ever in 2009/10, Shaune became just the third trainer – behind the legendary Colin Jillings and Dave O’Sullivan – to win the NZ Derby and NZ Oaks in the same season. Add a New Zealand Cup, a Desert Gold Stakes and a Metropolitan Trophy to the mix and Ritchie’s five-win stakes haul banked him as New Zealand’s leading stakes-money earner for that season. Shaune followed this up in 2011/12 with Zurella & Artistic multiple Group 1, 2 & 3 winners and listed success in both NZ and Australia.
Furthermore, Shaune has prepared the Hong Kong Gr.1 winner Thumbs Up prior to his NZ departure, and similarly the NZ Derby winner Military Move left the Ritchie stable with the perfect start to his career en route to Sha Tin.
It was during the 2010 season that I first met Shaune and his wife Allison, along with Frank as they embarked on a spring campaign in Melbourne. Using Riverend Park in Bangholme as their training base I got to know Shaune & Allison quite well - as I had 3 horses in work there myself and was a regular morning visitor with my coffee, prior to scooting off to work for the day.
Given my relationship and 1st hand knowledge of their approach to managing and working horses, it was only logical that KRD Racing form a strategic alliance with Shaune "across the ditch" as part of our NZ Breeding and Racing strategy.
Shaune will prepare and manage the pathways of our NZ bred progeny between NZ & Australia, in conjunction with his brother Craig operating from Warwick Farm; and as always with Frank on hand for further support. This forms part of our long-term strategy as our youngest progeny are now weanlings.
Shaune - in picture with father Frank at Moonee Valley.
Jason Warren - Mornington
Jason Warren is fast emulating the success of Mark Kavanagh with a Runner’s to Winners Ratio the envy of other Trainers. As a trainer, Jason’s greatest asset is a complete understanding and love of thoroughbred horses that belies his years.
Jason Warren grew up in the Bega valley area and has worked with horses most of his life. After starting off at shows and events, and riding track work at Ballina, Jason moved to Victoria and worked for Eliza Park (riding work and breaking in horses). Jason gained his extensive experience working with horses at the revered Eliza Park Stud. After a couple of years with Eliza Park Jason took out a trainers’ license in his own right, and started training, pre-training and breaking in horses as his own man ( “Coral Park” on Stumpy Gulley Rd, just minutes from Denistoun Park). Jason went on to enjoy considerable success through training multiple provincial and metropolitan winners.
Jason then decided that he wanted to further his knowledge of training and went to champion trainer Lee Freedman, becoming his foreman during the time that Makybe Diva reigned supreme. His time with Freedman racing also included Benicio winning the VRC Derby and Serenade Rose winning the VRC Oaks. At that time Denistoun Park served as the Freedman's pre-training property.
After a two-year period of developing his training career by working as a Foreman for Lee Freedman, Jason returned to training, armed with the knowledge and experience of achieving the best from thoroughbreds.
“I wanted to give myself every possible chance to learn as much as I could about my craft. I don’t think you could ask for any more than to be working for and tutored by the best in the business. Although I have my own way of training horses, there are definitely lessons I’ve learned from Lee that I will apply to my own training philosophies.”
Jason subsequently purchased Denistoun Park a world class private training facility. This is a stunning facility for those who have not been there and it isn’t any wonder the animals perform for Jason the way they do, facilities and care that ensure all horses are happy and unbelievably cared for. Jason now has consistently 50+ horses in work at any one time for a diverse range of owners.
KRD Racing is looking forward to building on our initial association with Jason and his team, with our first horse to be trained by Jason, a stunning 2 year old colt by Lonhro – yet to be named. We look forward with anticipation to strong success, with a first class colt that has loads of potential and a future sire in the making. No pressure Jason!!