Stuart Webb only has a small team of horses under his care, in fact it’s about the same size as his own family.
It was the latter that won out this week though as he chose to forgo watching the start of his star horse Yosei to travel to the USA with his wife and kids.
“Unfortunately, I can’t be there (Eagle Farm) tomorrow. I’m in the United States on a family holiday and I’ve just visited Disneyland,” Webb said.
“The trip was planned some time ago and it’s unfortunate it clashed with the carnival there.”
Yosei has won just three races in her career and amazingly two of them have come at Group 1 level.
She’s on track for another big stakes win tomorrow when she runs in the Group 2 Dane Ripper in Brisbane.
Webb has been involved with Robert Smerdon for many years and at Caulfield he houses his own team of just five horses.
His main trade was a farrier but he’s looking to slowly move out of that, potentially even into fulltime training.
“I still do a couple of days farrier work each week but it’s hard work bending the back every day,” he said.
“The money is good but I enjoy training more.”
There’s no doubt he’s on to a winner with Yosei which has started 13 times but knows exactly when to lift if the big events.
Her two Group 1 wins came in the AJC Sire’s Produce Stakes and the Thousand Guineas.
After that she was tried as a stayer in the VRC Oaks but with an easy run the entire way she never fired a shot in the home straight and languished back in 10th place.
“She never had a lot of luck in the Oaks and pulled up a bit ordinary so I gave her a long break,” Webb said.
“She proved to me she couldn’t stay so I’ve decided to keep her to around 1400 metres.”
As a result this season is all about sprinting for Yosei and Brisbane is going to be a real proving ground for her.
Her last run was a sixth down the straight track at Flemington over 1200m and for a first up performance probably wasn’t too bad.
“She’s still on the way up and the Winter Stakes has been her main mission all along,” Webb said.
“I nominated her for the Stradbroke but that was just as a precaution.
“The Winter Stakes has always been the path we wanted to take with her.”