Tinkler trying to resurrect thoroughbred empire

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 16th, 2012

Embattled racehorse owner Nathan Tinkler will be relying on the efforts of Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard to resurrect his dying thoroughbred empire following the closure of the multi-millionaire’s Patinack Farm’s training centre at Flemington.

All Too Hard

All Too Hard. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Tinkler will focus his racing operations in Brisbane and Sydney under the guidance of trainer John Thompsonwhile the breeding side of his business will continue in the Hunter Valley and the Gold Coast hinterland.

As Tinkler is planning to put All Too Hard on the world stage to enhance his future prospects as a dual hemisphere stallion, his chief executive officer Troy Palmer announced that Patinack Farm was in the process of restructuring its business plan.

“We are no different to so many businesses around Australia. We have had to make some tough decisions in the current environment to reduce overheads and build a sustainable business.

“While enjoying success, the racing operation is losing money and unfortunately part of the rationalisation will include the closure of our Flemington stables in Melbourne and a reduction of horses in work.

“We intend to restructure the business so it becomes more about breeding to race rather than racing to breed.

“There are simply too many horses in work and the reduction in numbers will greatly assist John Thompson and his team in coordinating better placement of horses and a much greater focus on quality.”

Tinkler has been under heavy financial pressure over the last six months and was forced to sell off three hundred brood mares at a recent Magic Millions sale as well as a number of racing stock in an effort to reduce his horse flesh numbers following the closure of his Hawkesbury stables earlier in the year.

Patinack Farm’s two Group 1 wins over the Melbourne Spring Carnival nearly didn’t eventuate with the Melbourne Racing Club demanding the payment of $400,000 Tinkler owed for expenses and sponsorship deals before they would allow his horses to compete over the Carnival.

The self made millionaire came up with the payments and went on to win the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 with Black Caviar’s half brother All Too Hard and the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 3 with smart filly Nechita.

All Too Hard then went on to run second to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 further enhancing his stallion prospects.

The Australian Turf Club also called on Tinkler for outstanding debts and have withheld prizemoney earned by Patinack Farm runners to go towards payment for stable rent, sponorship and other racing costs.

“There have been some cashflow problems and as a result we have worked towards an agreement to offset some debt,” ATC chief executive Darren Pearce said.

“Patinack Farm is very much still a valued partner of ours.”

Palmer said that Tinkler is aiming to cut his horse numbers down from 1300 to a sustainable 900 but is committed to maintain his involvement in the Australian racing industry.

“I want to emphasise that Nathan is not going anywhere,” Palmer said.

“If someone happened to offer him ridiculous money for his racing and breeding operation, then of course he would look at it, but the reality is that is unlikely and Nathan is committed to the racing industry.

“But our business model, in its current form, is not working and we need to make changes.”

The Patinack Farm reduction continues at the Inglis Sales next week with fifty more broodmares going under the hammer as well as another fifty to be sold privately.

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