Darley Managing Director Henry Plumptre has revealed that the racing operation will begin sifting through applications for the job of head trainer in the next couple of weeks.
There has been a great deal of speculation over who will take over the plum position, following the announcement last week that Peter Snowden would step down from the role at the conclusion of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but Plumptre told Sky Racing HQ that no decision has been made.
Plumptre refused to name any names but said that he had received a number of applications and confirmed that, in all likelihood, the new Darley head trainer would be somebody that is already based on the eastern seaboard of Australia.
“I have had a lot of applications come in formally and informally and basically what we will do is, over the period of the next two weeks, is sift through those applications and talk to the key problem,” Plumptre said.
“I am not going to mention names or how many people have applied for it because it is unfair to those who are applied for it for there to be any illusions to who it might be.
“I think that there is plenty of talent out there and we just have to find somebody that is up to the job and capable of taking on 420 horses and over 200 staff.
“It is certainly a decision that will be made by the board about who that candidate may be.”
The Darley operation does not only need a new head trainer but also requires a new foreman for their Melbourne stable; with Paul Snowden, who previously held the position, leaving to set up a new operation with his father.
Plumptre said that there was no obvious father/son team that could take over both jobs and revealed that the new stable foreman for their Melbourne stable is expected to be somebody who is already a part of their racing operation.
“There is no obvious father and son successor to that model but Peter and Paul worked very much as a head trainer with a very capable assistant,” Plumptre said.
“That is what we have got to look for and I think that the assistant in Melbourne is going to be found from within the company because we have a lot of very good people who work within the existing racing operation and it is very much one of Sheik Mohammed’s philosophies that we try and promote from within.”
Darley had a very strong 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) with Long John, the Thousand Guineas (1600m) and Flight Stakes (1600m) with Guelph as well as the Spring Champion Stakes with Complacent (2000m), and are expecting to add to their tally of Group 1 wins during the autumn.
Plumptre said that the success Snowden has had as head trainer makes him a very difficult person to replace but is hopeful they can find somebody that won’t affect the overall structure of the operation.
“In terms of replacing Peter it is very difficult to find somebody that has the qualities that he has got and the commitment that he has got but they are out there,” Plumptre said.
“We believe that the structure we have in the racing operation is very successful and I think that there is more than one part to that.
“We have had a very good trainer, we have very good human infrastructure and we have very good facilities.
“I wouldn’t be fiddling around with the structure too much because I think that it is very successful with the infrastructure that we have there.”