The world of horses is awash with superstition – carrying a green handkerchief in the betting ring will bring bad luck, as will changing a horse’s name or eating peanuts at the track. But if you spit on your finger and rub it on a horse, your fortunes will improve.

In the case of trainer Lindsay Hatch, luck is all about shoes. Whatever pair he has on when one of his horses wins, he will wear again to the next race day. “If I have a bad trot, those shoes get the sack, and I change into another pair,” said the 52-year old who, with wife Tracey, heads Hatch Racing based at Bahram Training Centre on the Gore Highway, Westbrook.

On these 71 acres, owned by Toowoomba businessman Gregg Wagner, is one of the state’s finest facilities, where thoroughbreds are broken in, pre-trained, trained and then raced at regional and metropolitan tracks.

At Bahram, horses live in roomy stables with yards attached; their feeds are individually prepared; they train on both sand and turf tracks and exercise on treadmills and state-of-the-art water walkers.

They are provided with every opportunity to reach their racing potential.

Of course, not all end up winners or even make it to a race day. Sometimes, because of injury or poor performance, they have to leave the world of racing. “We always try to re-home them and many end up as show hacks or jumpers,” said Hatch.

His daughter, 12-year old Jade, is a keen showjumper presently being coached by Tom Sedger of Murphys Creek, who also shoes the Barham horses. Hatch’s son, 14-year old Thomas, is proving to be a talented League player.

Hatch was his son’s age when he began as an apprentice to his father, who was also a trainer. He was Tommy Smith’s travelling track rider to Malaysia, took out a hobby trainer’s licence in 1997, and was a trainer in Toowoomba.

In Melbourne, he was an assistant to John Sadler at Flemington, and then worked for two and a half years for the Darley team under Peter and Paul Snowden.

“It was great to learn from top trainers like them,” said Hatch, who returned to Toowoomba with his family in 2014 and set up his own business.

January 2017 was an outstanding month for the trainer: Transporter won at Eagle Farm. A week later, Rhyme Nor Rhythm, Helarocity, Jadentom and Captain’s Way were all victorious at Toowoomba, but it was the outcome of the bowel cancer surgery, which he underwent a day after the races, that was the greatest success. “The surgeon was very happy and gave me the all clear,” proclaimed Hatch.

Soon after the operation, Hatch was again up at 3am with his team preparing horses for track work training. This normally means he is in bed by 7.30pm. “Our social life’s restricted somewhat, but that’s what happens when you’re married to a racehorse trainer,” said Tracey. And that’s something her husband wants to be at least for the next 10 years. “There are some good people in racing and there’s not much about it that I’d want to change,” said Lindsay.

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