Trainer Stephen Crutchley, who has spent the last seven years in Singapore after leaving New Zealand back in 2014, can’t wait to get the new season underway in the nation after recently being granted an “A” license by the Singapore Turf Club.
Crutchley, who trained on his own accord in New Zealand for 13 years where he saddled 121 winners, has spent his time in Singapore as an assistant trainer with Mark Walker, John O’Hara, Theo Kieser and more recently, Leslie Khoo.
During that time, he had applied for his “A” license, which would allow him to form his own stable and after a seven year wait, that responsibility has finally come through.
“When I first came up here I put in my application for an A license, but that is a very involved process that requires you to fulfil a number of criteria set down by the Turf Club,” he said.
“You can’t function as a trainer until the Club grants you boxes and it has taken quite some time to achieve that.
“While I have been waiting I have been working as an assistant trainer to some of the real heavyweights in the training ranks up here like Mark Walker, which has been great, but there is nothing like having your own stable.”
Crutchley only learned of his success in being granted 30 boxes by the Club on the 22nd of December and it is now a whirlwind to get ready to kick off as soon as he can put all of the logistical challenges in place.
“Once I heard the decision I have started working on getting everything together, including the company structure I need to have trackwork riders and the like for the stable,” he said.
“That is another of the major challenges along with actually filling those boxes with horses.
“I’m lucky in that while I have been here and also before moving up here, I have been involved with Constance Cheng who has horses all over the world under her Toast Trusts Stable banner.
“Right now, I probably have a dozen horses from her and several other Singapore owners, along with some from Australia, Hong Kong and a couple from New Zealand, while I am working hard to get more.
“I think once we have the appropriate structures in place, I should have my first runners on the track towards the end of January or the beginning of February.”
As he fills his stable to get his season underway, Crutchley is hoping he can unearth horses of the talent of Mi Jubilee who he prepared to win the Gr.1 Ellerslie Sires Produce Stakes (1200m) and the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) when training in New Zealand.
“Having a couple like Mi Jubilee would be a hell of an advantage,” he said.
“She was a magnificent filly, blessed with speed and real toughness and it was a great thrill to win the races with her that we did.
“I do have some lovely horses that Constance owns to work with and I’m very thankful for her support.
“What we need now is to get up and running as quickly as possible, put some wins on the board and make people take notice of our stable, so they want to race horses with us.” – NZ Racing Desk