Jumps trainer Anthony Cosgriff is still celebrating his first win in the United Kingdom since transferring his stables there in 2010.
Cosgriff uprooted his successful Victorian stable in favour of England due to the uncertain nature of jumps racing in Australia.
“We made the move partly because of the issues with jumps racing in Victoria,” Cosgriff said.
“We were just too small a business to be wearing that.”
The trainer headed to England under the assumption that he would gain his licence from a prominent local owner , however, that failed to eventuate.
“The agreement was I’d train his horses for him under his permit then I would be able to get some of my own as well,” Cosgriff said.
“Then when we arrived… he said I’ve been having a think you’re not getting your licence you’re just working for me.
“That was a bit of a shock to the system to be honest.”
Without a stable to work from, Cosgriff began working as a horse vet in England’s north west.
“We were sort of head-hunted to come to a vet practise here in Cheshire,” he said.
“It might have been different if we’d had a house and stable, but our house and stables are still in Australia.”
Despite the hardships that have befallen him, Cosgriff managed to win a Novice jumps race at Taunton Racecourse with the only horse in his stable, Gorge.
The ten-year-old gelding beat second place-getter Sky Calling by half a length to win the 3.3km race after failing to post a win during his first English campaign earlier this year.
“It was a tremendous buzz,” Cosgriff said.
The win was made all the more significant by the fact Gorge had spent much of his time in England suffering from injury.
“He got injured as soon as we arrived which wasn’t a very good start,” Cosgriff said.
“We’ve addressed a couple of issues.
“(So) I was absolutely delighted to see him fight on and get his next in front on Thursday.
“I nearly got a bit blubbery in the saddling enclosure.”
The trainer is looking to expand his stables slowly but surely, and views Gorge as the horse that can start the ball rolling.
Cosgriff is hopeful that Gorge can go on to win a race at one of the major racecourses, or at least make his way into the field on his own merits.
Gorge, who won four races over the flat before becoming a jumps horse, has won five of his 31 career starts and earned more than $60,000 in prize money.