Joshua Brown (outside) winning at Arawa Park last Saturday.  Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

Sentimental win for Gussey

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
13 May 2024

It was a sentimental day at Arawa Park on Saturday for Cambridge trainer Lance Gussey after he recorded his first win as a trainer courtesy of Joshua Brown, a horse bred by his late father Ronald Gussey.

The son of Dalghar was having just his second raceday outing, having finished fifth over 1230m at the Rotorua venue last month, before returning to post a head victory in the Peter Ludgate Memorial Race 1215 on Saturday.

“We always knew that he had the speed, all we needed was to get him clear in the straight and he would do the rest. We were pretty confident and I was rapt with the win,” Gussey said.

Racing was a massive part of Gussey’s father’s life, with Ronald having trained for more than three decades up until his passing two years ago, however, Gussey didn’t share his father’s passion for the sport.

He still helped out at his father’s stable later in life, and upon his passing, Gussey decided to continue his father’s legacy by taking out his own trainer’s license and take over running his Cambridge barn.

“I’ve never really been interested in horses or horse racing, but the reason I got involved was because my Dad knew what he was talking about and I want to finish what he started,” Gussey said.

“I have always helped Dad out with the horses because he was the only one there and when he got old, and they (horses) got a bit stroppy, I had to try and lead them.

“I was in the process of getting my license to help him just in the birdcage and things prior to him dying, but we didn’t end up getting there, so I thought I would finish it for him.”

Joshua Brown is one of a handful of horses Gussey has continued to race and he said his father had a sentimental way of naming his horses.

“Every horse he has left us is a special horse, they have all got the grandkids names,” Gussey said.

“Joshua Brown is named after my sister’s boy over in Australia. We have also got Pepe Peperoni, who is named after my daughter. We had Superior Sam, who was named after my other daughter, and she has been sold to Australia.

“We have got two with Alex Forbes over in Te Awamutu and we are doing two here. He has just broken-in another one for us, which we will be starting in the next couple of weeks. He has got some promising ones there including She’ll Be Right, who is Josh’s sister.”

Pepe Peperoni will attempt to keep the party going when she heads to Cambridge’s synthetic meeting on Wednesday where she will contest the Saddlery Warehouse 1300.

“She has got a wide draw (16), but she is going to give it a crack, she is feeling pretty full of herself,” Gussey said. “She is more suited to the summer tracks, but we thought we would give her another run before we turn her out.”

Gussey is also continuing his father’s breeding legacy, having welcomed a half-sister to Joshua Brown, Pepe Peperoni and She’ll Be Right, out of Rich Hill Stud stallion Satono Aladdin.

“We have got another foal that was born in September last year, who is by Satono Aladdin out of Midnight Mistress,” he said. “She looks amazing."

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