Belinda Savio said she never wanted to be a thoroughbred trainer when growing up.HANNAH DRISCOLL February 7, 2013 4:15am
Tatura-based trainer Belinda Savio has found her calling in giving unwanted racehorses a second shot.
Belinda Savio said she never wanted to be a thoroughbred trainer when growing up.
Now it is hard to imagine her enjoying any other job.
Savio and her partner, harness racing trainer Paul Dunn, moved to Undera from Yarra Valley late last year and Savio is training her horses at Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club.
The couple is in the process of turning a run-down dairy farm on 93
Savio was raised by Canberra trainer George Barnard and was a jockey in the 1970s and 1980s. She also has a background in showjumping and eventing.
It was Barnard who bought Savio her first horse, a weanling named Lucky Magic.
She said they did not pay ‘‘a hell of a lot for him’’ because he had a cut on his leg, but Lucky Magic finished with four wins from 16 starts.
This is what Savio enjoys most — taking horses that have been given up by other trainers, for what ever reason, and giving them a second chance.
‘‘I have taken horses from big trainers that couldn’t get them going and I got them going, but it’s not because I’m brilliant or anything like that, it’s because I’m personal with the horse, that’s all it is,’’ Savio said.
One success story was One Storm, who was sacked by two trainers before he came to Savio as a two-year-old.
Savio said he was the ‘‘weediest looking’’ horse, so he had 12 months in the paddock to put on a bit of weight and had 18 starts for 17 third-or-better finishes.
Another success was Unknown Lady, a five-year-old mare still being trained by Savio.
Savio said she bought the then-unraced Unknown Lady as a three-year-old and the stud she came from said she would never race because she was a ‘‘cripple’’.
‘‘She had immature cannon bones and she kept going sore with them all the time. She would go out and trot a lap and she couldn’t walk,’’ Savio said.
Unknown Lady has since gone on to have two wins, a second and six thirds from 15 starts and holds a special place in Savio’s heart.
Savio insists her secret is simply getting to know the ins and outs of all the horses she has and being hands-on with her work.
She said she used a lot of herbs to help with ailments and gave the horses massages to help herself become aware of any problems.
In her own words, ‘‘I can tell you how many manures a horse did every day, I can tell you everything and I don’t want to change’’.
She also prides herself on helping owners make the most profit out of a horse they can, but also being upfront with them about their prospects.
‘‘My challenge is getting a horse that has had ability that has lost the plot and give it a new start, or take horses that have problems — physical, mental, both,’’ Savio said.
‘‘I think if something’s not working, change it with that horse, if you can’t fix it and it’s not going to work and you’ve tried everything, it’s not going to work.
‘‘With the big stables, they have one way and if it doesn’t work the horse is no good. I honestly believe that .
Savio and Dunn have 22 horses, including weanlings and yearlings, and Savio began preparation work with some of her thoroughbreds last week.
Five shopfronts and a car were damaged following a spate of vandalism on St Georges Rd.
At the presentations located at the half-way mark of YMGCR's Lake Course, PGA Legends Co-Ordinator Andy Rogers said, "It's been a great three days.
Tatura’s rainfall for the last three months of 2015, 116.6mm, was marginally down on the long-term average for the same period, 120.8mm.
A FESTIVAL aimed at high school students will be held in Echuca next month.
ROCHESTER has welcomed a new family into the community this year.
More of the districts newest preps
No end to V/Line's troubles
The Finley community will always remember the tremendous Trevor Hendy, who was friends with everyone.
TOOLLEEN Recreation Reserve Committee of Management presented three awards on Australia Day in front of 80 local residents.
Cobram’s Adriana Fazio has battled cancer for the past seven years and is now one of the faces of the Fight Cancer Foundation’s fundraising efforts
World War II veteran Max Gunn reflects on town's historic recognition.
There’s been a big win for SPC and Australian tomato growers.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.