Meet The Locals: Racehorse Trainer Todd Howlett

With a horse tipped as one of the leading chances in this year’s famed Kosciuszko, local Singleton racehorse trainer Todd Howlett is riding high.

Two Big Fari will run at Randwick in the world’s richest race for country-trained horses. We chatted with Todd ahead of the race about his career highlights.

We know you’re local now, but where did you grow up, Todd?

I was born and grew up here in Singleton. I really enjoyed living here as a kid. It’s a good, friendly country town, a really great community and I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else.

When did you become interested in racing and training?

I’ve had horses for most of my life. I started off in the rodeos with campdraft horses and saddle horses. But it was really in my twenties that I started doing a bit of track work as well and then went on to train horses after that.

Tell me about your first win, I believe it was with a horse called The Moonster?

My brother-in-law and I bought a brood mare and foal – The Moonster was the foal. We broke him in, then went to the races. He was the first horse I’d had at the races and he won at 100 to 1! My wife and I went out to celebrate. It was early days and we didn’t have a lot of money, though I had a little bit of money on him.

In your view, what makes a good racehorse?

I don’t think there are any real rules, but you want a sound horse – that’s a big thing. Good pedigree helps but it’s not always that which gets it. I like a nice, good athletic horse.

And then it’s down to the training?

Well yes, but I think good horses make good trainers, I really do. It doesn’t matter how well you train a horse; if it doesn’t have the ability it’s never going to be any good as a racehorse. They have to have that natural ability.

What does a typical work day look like for you, as a trainer?

I start at 4 a.m. We’ll go round and feed and check the horses. Then we work them, and sometimes I go to the track. We usually finish around 9.30 a.m. Then I might need to go to the races that day. On a non-race day we start again at 2 p.m. with training the horses and work through till around 5.30 p.m. Through the day I’ll talk to owners and jockeys. Usually it’s a pretty big day.

It sure is! What do you do on your days off?

I don’t get too many days off! But my son’s a fisherman and I like to get away with him and the family for a day or two.

You’ve trained over 300 winners. What have been some career highlights?

Obviously, The Moonster, he kickstarted things. He won nine races and won in the city. As a new trainer he was a really good horse to me. Then I had Star of Octagonal. He won a group 3, the Rowley Mile and the big Scone Guineas as well. He was a really big part of getting the business going. And I’ve got a really nice horse at the moment, Two Big Fari. Last year he was in the Country Championships and this year he’s qualified to enter the Kosciuszko and he’s one of the main chances in that. He’s been a really big highlight.

What are your next goals or plans in your career?

Just doing the best we can and training as many winners as we can. And hoping to get better horses and win better races.

If you’re keen to see how Two Big Fari goes for Todd in the Kosciuszko, make sure you tune in to the race on Saturday 17 October.

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