Victoria’s training ranks will be bolstered by a welcome addition to the Cranbourne Training Centre, with experienced South Australian trainer Scott Ewen kicking off a new chapter from September.
A chance meeting with vigilant Cranbourne club officials at the Mildura Cup Carnival in April this year planted the seed and it took only a few more conversations to seal the deal.
“It was actually on the river cruise on the Friday night,” Ewen said. “We had a bit of a chat and went from there.”
He is no stranger to Victoria, having only 10 years ago returned with his family to South Australia after a stint as stable foreman for trainer Lance Justice.
“I just started having too many horses myself and the kids were getting homesick (for South Australia), so we went back,” Ewen said. “But one of my daughters is 19 and pretty advanced in her dancing career, so she probably needed to move to Melbourne or Sydney.”
The advantages of the Cranbourne Training Centre made the decision an easy one.
“The club made me an offer that was too good to refuse,” Ewen said. “There’s a treadmill, a bungee pool, fantastic walking machine, everything’s state of the art."
He said the main track was available seven days a week for fast work, "which is great", and there are two other tracks to work on. "If you couldn’t train winners there there’s something wrong.”
Only two horses will make the trip with the Scott and wife, Kylie, including stable star Bulletproof Boy.
“He’s won 20 races; he’s our champion,” Ewen said. “He might have had to come here for the faster class races anyway.”
The Cranbourne club will provide additional support, potentially giving the stable some of its Club 21 horses to train.
“I think they have some babies I might be able to train,” Ewen said. “I’ve got a few other mates who are keen to race down here – we’re only likely to train about a dozen, then we can be more hands-on, so it won’t take long for the stable to fill up.
“When you’re out there performing and the horses are doing well that’s all the advertising you need. We’re looking forward to the adventure.”
Club president Bill Hutchison said it was “with great pleasure" they welcome Ewen to the Cranbourne Harness Training Centre.
"Scott and his family are steeped in harness racing tradition and he has already made a significant impact in the training ranks in South Australia," Mr Hutchison said. "Our club wish them success with their new venture.”