Murray Brown

Brown Gets 500 (Sunday 27th August 2017) 

Bruce Stewart

He only had one runner at Gore today in Soapbox but that was enough for Findlay Road trainer Murray Brown to reach a milestone of 500 winners.

Brown, who’s in his thirty fourth season of training, won his first race with Mike Adios at Invercargill on September 22nd 1984. So his 500th winner came almost 34 years to the day later.

He began his career with Henry Skinner; an association that started while Brown was playing rugby for Central Pirates.

“Henry and Alan Devery and John Hay who trained at Ryal Bush used to come down and watch the rugby. We ended up with horses with Henry. I was at the works (Freezing Works) and used to go and help him in the off-season. I then went over to Bryce’s (Bryce Buchanan) when he broke his leg. Henry and Bryce signed my form to get a training licence,” said Brown.

He initially rented boxes at what is now Wayne Adam’s property but then bought his current stable off Stewart Barlow.

His best season came in 2012 when his horses won thirty two races. His UDR that season was .2792 and stable runners won $138,917.

He’s the second Southland trainer to join the elite 500 club. Hamish Hunter was the first, two seasons ago.

“It’s pretty hard to do. There’s only Hamish and I. We’ve had some good trainers down here but we’ve probably had more opportunities.”

Brown has won the Southland Trainers Premiership seven times: 1998, 1999, 2000 (jointly with Tony Barron), 2001, 2002, 2006 (shared with Hamish Hunter) and 2012.

He named his best horse as Beaudiene Bad Babe which won the Group Two Caduceus Club of Canterbury Premier Mares Championship twice (2010 and 2011).

She also won the 2010 Nevele R Stud Four Year Old Diamond at Cambridge and the 2009 Group Two Macca Lodge/Nevele R Southland Oaks Final. In all she won twenty two races.

Another group winner for Brown was Hemisphere which won the Group Three Nevele R Two Year Fillies Mobile at Addington in 2008.

He’s won numerous cups in the Southland region including the Wairio Cup three times; Hebe Gebe (1997), Loch Nagar (2008) and Beaudiene Bad Babe (2009). He also won the time honoured Hannon Memorial with Freeway Don in 1999.

Brown’s best winners list include:

Beaudiene Bad Babe (22)

Freeway Don (11)

Awesum Teddy (10)

Highview Jude (9)

Rimesaut (8)

Mister Dale (8)

Absolutely Brilliant (8)

The Receptionist (6)

Blue Jay Way (6)

Rakanra (6)

Loch Nagar (6)

Bali Mystic (6)

Mister PB (5)

Titan Bloss (5)

Hebe Gebe (5)

Tahlia Jaccka (5)

Padraig (5)

Back to today’s winner Soapbox. She got a dream trip in the trail and ran along the passing lane to beat a game Franco Huntington by half a neck. A desperately unlucky No More Change ran third.

Soapbox is raced by the Tricode Racing Syndicate Number Two. It was the Santanna Blue Chip mare’s second win from thirty starts.