Top 10 Horse Racing Trainers In Australia

G’day, race fans! Welcome to our definitive guide on the Top 10 Horse Racing Trainers in Australia. As you know, the Australian turf is home to some of the world’s most prestigious and competitive horse races, attracting top trainers from across the globe.

In this blog post, we’ve ranked these successful trainers based on their impressive win rates and contributions to the racing industry. Not only will you learn about their stellar careers, but also what sets them apart from their peers in terms of training techniques and achievements.

Key Takeaways

  • Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, James Cummings, Darren Weir, David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Tony McEvoy, Peter and Paul Snowden, Ciaron Maher, Kris Lees, and Tony Gollan are the top 10 horse racing trainers in Australia.
  • These trainers use customised training programs that cater to each horse’s individual needs and abilities. This includes nutrition plans, exercise routines, and rest periods.
  • The personalised approach of these trainers has led to numerous victories in prestigious races such as Melbourne Cup or Cox Plate. They have also produced champion thoroughbreds like Winx (trained by Chris Waller), Redzel (trained by Peter and Paul Snowden), or Sunlight (trained by Tony McEvoy).
  • Australian horse racing fans can keep up with the latest news from their favourite trainers’ stables through online resources such as trainer directories or news websites.

The Top 10 Horse Racing Trainers In Australia

Here are the top 10 horse racing trainers in Australia: Chris Waller, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, James Cummings, Darren Weir, David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Tony McEvoy, Peter and Paul Snowden, Ciaron Maher, Kris Lees, and Tony Gollan.

Chris Waller

Chris Waller, originally hailing from New Zealand, has established himself as one of the most successful and highly respected horse racing trainers in Australia.

One of his most significant achievements in the industry is training Winx – a superstar mare who won an unprecedented four consecutive Cox Plates between 2015 and 2018. Waller’s dedication to detail, combined with innovative training techniques tailored to each individual horse’s needs, has led him to become a powerhouse within the racing community.

Gai Waterhouse And Adrian Bott

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott are among the top trainers in Australian horse racing. With over 100 Group 1 race wins to their name, they are recognised as iconic trainers in Australia’s turf industry.

The duo has had great success on one of the world’s biggest racing stages at Royal Ascot with horses like Con Te Partiro winning the Sandringham Handicap at the prestigious meet in 2019.

Notable achievements include successes such as winning multiple Sydney Trainer Premierships, saddling up winners at all four major Spring Carnival races, including Victoria Derby victories with Nothin’ Leica Dawn & Rekindled Interest finishing third behind So You Think in his Cox Plate win; Melbourne Cup glory with Fiorente ; Golden Slipper triumphs via Pierro , Overreach & Vancouver as well as Doncaster Mile wins for More Joyous .

James Cummings

James Cummings is one of the top horse racing trainers in Australia, with an impressive record of success on the turf. As part of the famous Cummings family dynasty, he has continued to build upon his grandfather and father’s legendary status in the industry.

Cummings’ training methods are known for being individualised and specific to each horse’s needs. He pays close attention to every aspect of his horses’ health and fitness routines, including nutrition planning, exercise regimes, and injury management.

As a result, many of Cummings’ stable stars have gone on to achieve great success at some of the country’s biggest races, such as Hartnell at the Cox Plate and Prized Icon at the Australian Derby.

Darren Weir

Darren Weir is one of the most successful horse racing trainers in Australia, with over 3,000 wins and almost $150 million in earnings. He started his career as a farrier before transitioning to training horses in Ballarat.

Weir has been able to achieve great success through his customised training programs for each horse under his care.

Despite being banned from the sport due to animal cruelty charges, Weir remains a prominent figure among Australian horse racing trainers. His use of unconventional techniques such as beach training and water-walker sessions have helped him produce many champion racehorses including Black Heart Bart, Platelet and Stratum Star.

David Hayes And Tom Dabernig

David Hayes and Tom Dabernig are two of Australia’s most prominent horse racing trainers. The duo has been training horses together since 2014 and have achieved great success in the industry.

Their stable has produced many big winners over the years, including Redkirk Warrior, one of the most successful sprinters in Australian turf history with Group 1 victories in three different states.

They also trained Criterion who won four Group 1 races before being retired to stud, where he became a highly-sought-after breeding stallion.

Tony McEvoy

Tony McEvoy is a highly respected and successful horse racing trainer in Australia, with over 30 years of experience. He has trained some of the country’s most notable racehorses, including Sunlight and Hey Doc.

McEvoy has an exceptional strike rate as a trainer, consistently producing winners at major races such as the Melbourne Cup and the Golden Slipper Stakes. In fact, he has won over 1500 races with his horses earning more than $80 million in prize money.

Peter And Paul Snowden

Peter and Paul Snowden are one of the most successful father-son partnerships in Australian horse racing. They have consistently produced top-quality racehorses, with Peter bringing decades of experience as a trainer and Paul adding his innovative ideas to the stable’s training techniques.

The Snowdens’ success has translated into many victories on the racetrack. Their combined efforts have resulted in over 800 wins and more than $117 million in earnings. Additionally, they’ve won three Group One races during their partnership: The Golden Slipper Stakes (2016), Everest (2017 & 2018) and Sires Produce Stakes (2021).

Ciaron Maher

Ciaron Maher is a top Australian horse racing trainer who has been making waves in the industry for more than a decade. Along with his co-trainer David Eustace, Maher currently leads the Victoria Country Trainer Premiership and has accumulated 1469 wins and $31.6 million in earnings to date.

Maher has also had several notable achievements throughout his career, including winning the prestigious Caulfield Cup twice with Jameka (2016) and Boom Time (2017). He also trained Azkadellia to victory in the Queen of the Turf Stakes at Randwick Racecourse in 2016.

Kris Lees

Kris Lees is a well-known Australian horse racing trainer who has made a name for himself in the industry. With over 20 years of experience, he has trained multiple group one-winning horses, including Lucia Valentina and Samantha Miss.

He operates his stables from Newcastle and has consistently been among the top trainers in New South Wales.

Lees’s success can be attributed to his customised training programs that are designed to suit each horse’s individual needs. He also pays close attention to nutrition and fitness routines for his horses, ensuring that they are always at their best form come race day.

Tony Gollan

Tony Gollan is a highly regarded Australian horse racing trainer with over 760 wins and $11.2 million in earnings. Known for his keen eye for promising young horses, Gollan has trained many winners in some of the country’s most prestigious races, such as the Stradbroke Handicap and Tattersall’s Tiara.

Gollan’s success can be attributed to his personalised training programs designed specifically for each horse he trains. He works closely with owners to optimise their horses’ nutrition and fitness routines, ensuring that they are at their peak performance come race day.

Training Techniques And Methods Of The Top Trainers

The top trainers in Australia use customised training programs, nutrition and diet planning, and fitness and exercise routines to get the best out of their horses.

Customised Training Programs For Horses

The top horse racing trainers in Australia know that one-size-fits-all training programs are not effective. That’s why they develop customised training programs tailored to each horse’s unique needs and abilities.

These programs include nutrition plans, exercise routines, and rest periods. For example, when Ciaron Maher trained the champion mare, Jameka, he developed a specific program for her to peak for major races like the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

The program included a mix of swimming and trackwork as well as plenty of rest to avoid overtraining.

These personalised approaches could be part of what makes these trainers so successful: Ciaron Maher has led the Victorian trainer premiership twice; Gai Waterhouse has won eight Sydney championships; while Chris Waller is known for dominating spring racing with his high-quality runners.

Nutrition And Diet Planning For Horses

One of the key factors in achieving success as a horse racing trainer is ensuring that your equine athletes are fuelled properly. Each horse has unique dietary requirements, and trainers must determine the ideal balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to keep their horses in top condition.

For example, racehorses need high-quality protein sources to build muscle mass and maintain energy levels during training and competition.

Top trainers like Chris Waller and Gai Waterhouse also focus on hydration for their equine charges. Giving horses adequate water before and after races helps prevent dehydration, which can lead to reduced performance or even serious health problems.

With an increasing awareness of how important nutrition is for overall performance in sports including racing , many trainers now have working relationships with veterinarians who specialise in nutrition planning.

Australia boasts some very successful racehorse managers such as Ciaron Maher whose stable draws up individual food plans tailored toward each of his runners’ specific needs. Additionally, horse owners should regularly consult qualified professionals for advice on feed management.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that changing feeds abruptly or altering feeding schedules suddenly could affect appetite, equine gut health, increase colic episodes, and compromise optimal athletic performance.

Fitness And Exercise Routines For Horses

Top trainers in Australian horse racing know that exercise and fitness routines are crucial to the success of their horses. Each horse has a unique training program tailored specifically to their needs, based on factors such as age, breed, and physical ability.

The top trainers also understand that rest periods are just as important as training sessions. Horses require adequate time to relax and recover so they can perform at their best during races.

Many notable trainers have earned numerous awards due to their customised training programs including Chris Waller who trained one of Australia’s most successful racehorses, Winx with 25 consecutive wins including four consecutive Cox Plate titles from 2015-2018.

Another example is James Cummings’ impressive record which includes Group One victories with all three-year-olds colts support categories – Golden Slipper winning Prized Icon in (2017), Randwick Guineas winner Kementari (2018) & Victoria Derby winner Ace High (2017).

Notable Achievements And Awards Of The Top Trainers

The top trainers in Australia have achieved incredible success and received recognition for their hard work, including impressive Group 1 race wins, Melbourne Cup victories, Cox Plate wins, Golden Slipper triumphs and more – keep reading to discover the full list of notable achievements!

Group 1 Race Wins

The top 10 horse racing trainers in Australia have all achieved impressive Group 1 race wins. These are the most prestigious events in Australian horse racing, and winning one is considered a significant accomplishment. Here are some of the notable Group 1 victories by the top trainers:

Chris Waller – Winx’s four Cox Plate victories stand out as her most impressive Group 1 wins. Waller has also trained other multiple Group 1 winners such as Nature Strip and Kolding.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott – Their standout performers include Golden Slipper champions Pierro and Vancouver, along with The Everest winner Classique Legend.

James Cummings – His top Group 1 winners include Hartnell, Avilius, and Bivouac.

Darren Weir – His most significant Group 1 win came with the mare Verry Elleegant in the Tancred Stakes at Rosehill.

David Hayes and Tom Dabernig – They have trained numerous Group 1 winners including Redkirk Warrior, Vega Magic, and Criterion.

Tony McEvoy – He has won multiple elite races including the Blue Diamond Stakes with Hey Doc and Sunlight.

Peter and Paul Snowden – They have enjoyed great success with horses such as Capitalist and Redzel who both took out the Golden Slipper.

Ciaron Maher – He has won three Caulfield Cups with Jameka being his highest-profile winner.

Kris Lees – The Newcastle-based trainer has won several big races including the Melbourne Cup with Protectionist in 2014.

Tony Gollan – His star galloper Spirit of Boom was a dual Group 1 winner of the Doomben 10,000 and William Reid Stakes.

Horse racing fans can see that each trainer has their fair share of accomplishments when it comes to winning those elite races!

Melbourne Cup Victories

Some of the top Australian horse racing trainers have achieved incredible Melbourne Cup victories, cementing their place in racing history. Here are some notable wins:

Bart Cummings: The late Bart Cummings is known as the Cups King for his record-breaking 12 Melbourne Cup victories between 1965 and 2008.

Gai Waterhouse: A household name in Australian horse racing, Gai Waterhouse became the first female trainer to win the Melbourne Cup in 2013 with Fiorente.

Lee Freedman: With five Melbourne Cup wins between 1989 and 2005, Lee Freedman is another legendary trainer who has left an indelible mark on the sport.

Darren Weir: In 2015, Darren Weir became just the third trainer in history to win both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in the same year, thanks to Prince of Penzance’s surprise victory.

David Hayes: The son of legendary trainer Colin Hayes, David Hayes won his first Melbourne Cup as a trainer in 1994 with Jeune.

These trainers and their horses have created unforgettable moments in Australian horse racing history through their impressive performances at the Melbourne Cup.

Cox Plate Wins

The Cox Plate is one of the most prestigious races in Australia, often referred to as “The race where legends are made.” Here are some notable Cox Plate wins by the top trainers in Australia:

  • Chris Waller has won the Cox Plate a record four times, with his first win coming in 2011 with mare Winx. She went on to win it three more times, cementing her status as one of the greatest racehorses of all time.
  • Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Fiorente to victory in the 2013 Cox Plate. The stallion went on to win that year’s Melbourne Cup.
  • James Cummings’ first Group One win came in the 2008 Cox Plate when he trained So You Think to victory. Cummings has since gone on to train multiple Group One winners.
  • Darren Weir had his first ever Group One win in the 2015 Cox Plate, when he trained Prince of Penzance to victory at odds of 100/1. This was also jockey Michelle Payne’s first ever Group One win.
  • David Hayes and Tom Dabernig won the Cox Plate with Fields Of Omagh back in 2006, making it their second Cox Plate victory after winning with Better Loosen Up in 1990.

These trainers have not only found success in winning the iconic race but also produced some legendary horses who have become household names among Australian horse racing fans.

Golden Slipper Wins

The Golden Slipper is Australia’s most prestigious race for two-year-old horses, attracting the best trainers and jockeys in the country. Here are some of the top horse racing trainers who have had success in this iconic race:

Gai Waterhouse – Known as the Queen of the Turf, Gai has won a record-breaking seven Golden Slipper races, with her first win coming in 1991 with star filly Burst.

Peter and Paul Snowden – Father and son duo Peter and Paul Snowden have trained three Golden Slipper winners so far, including superstar colt Capitalist in 2016.

Clarry Conners – Trainer of legendary mare Black Caviar, Clarry Conners has also won the Golden Slipper twice with star fillies Burst and Belle du Jour.

John Hawkes – A former champion jockey turned trainer, John Hawkes has won four Golden Slippers, including three consecutive wins from 1995-1997 with Octagonal, Flying Spur and Guineas.

Bart Cummings – Although best known as the Cups King for his incredible success in the Melbourne Cup, Bart Cummings also trained two Golden Slipper winners: Storm Queen in 1966 and Century Miss in 1979.

David Hayes – One of Australia’s leading trainers, David Hayes has enjoyed plenty of success in the Golden Slipper with victories from stable stars Miss Finland (2006) and Reann (2008).

Chris Waller – Although he is best known for his success on the middle-distance scene with supermare Winx, Chris Waller has also tasted victory in the Golden Slipper with Overreach taking out the race in 2013.

Gerald Ryan – Sydney-based trainer Gerald Ryan won his first Golden Slipper in 2018 when Farnan delivered an impressive performance to score a dominant victory.

Tony McEvoy – Trainer of several Group 1 winners, including star filly Sunlight, Tony McEvoy tasted Golden Slipper success in 2018 with Estijaab.

James Cummings – Grandson of the legendary Bart Cummings, James has made a name for himself as one of the top trainers in Australia, with his first Golden Slipper win coming in 2020 with filly Farnan.

With such a stellar line-up of trainers to choose from, it’s no wonder the Golden Slipper is such a highly-anticipated race on the Australian horse racing calendar each year.

Other Notable Achievements

Apart from their impressive track records, these top trainers have also achieved notable successes in horse racing:

Chris Waller – trained mare Winx won 33 consecutive races and is considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time.

Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained the legendary mare More Joyous, who won eight Group 1 races and over $4 million in prize money.

James Cummings trained champion sprinter Bivouac, who won the Group 1 Golden Rose and Newmarket Handicap in 2020.

Darren Weir trained Prince of Penzance to a historic win in the 2015 Melbourne Cup with Michelle Payne becoming the first female jockey to win the race.

David Hayes, along with his father Colin Hayes, trained Better Loosen Up to win the Japan Cup, Hong Kong Cup and Australian Cup in 1990-91.

Tony McEvoy-trained Sunlight became an instant sensation after winning three Group 1 races as a two-year-old filly.

Peter and Paul Snowden have trained some of Australia’s finest gallopers including Redzel, Capitalist and Shooting To Win.

Ciaron Maher’s runner Azkadellia was named as Australia’s best mare for her performances during the 2015-16 season.

Kris Lees – trained Lucia Valentina won four Group 1 races during her career including The Vinery Stud Stakes and Turnbull Stakes.

These trainers have made significant contributions to Australian horse racing through their success on the track and their development of future stars of the sport.

Legendary Australian Horse Racing Trainers

Some of the most iconic figures in Australian horse racing have left their mark on the industry for decades, including Bart Cummings – known as the Cups King, Colin Hayes – considered a pioneer trainer, Gai Waterhouse – an iconic trainer and Tommy J. Smith – a legendary trainer.

Bart Cummings: The Cups King

Bart Cummings is a legendary Australian horse racing trainer known as “The Cups King.” He won the Melbourne Cup a record 12 times throughout his career and also trained winners in other prestigious events such as the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, and Golden Slipper.

Cummings started his career as a stablehand at his father’s stables before eventually becoming a successful trainer himself. Throughout his career, he trained some of Australia’s most notable horses, including Saintly and So You Think.

His legacy lives on in the industry through The Bart Cummings Medal, awarded annually to trainers with exceptional performances during the Spring Racing Carnival.

Colin Hayes: Pioneer Trainer

Colin Hayes was an iconic Australian horse racing trainer who had a significant impact on the industry during his career. He established Lindsay Park Racing Stables in South Australia, which became one of the most successful training operations in the country.

Under Hayes’ guidance, several champion racehorses emerged, including Better Loosen Up, At Talaq, and Jeune. He won many prestigious races throughout his career, including four Melbourne Cups and two Cox Plates.

Hayes was known for his work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to connect with horses.

Gai Waterhouse: Iconic Trainer

Gai Waterhouse is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and well-known trainers in Australian horse racing history. With over 140 Group 1 winners to her name, she has established herself as a true legend in the sport.

Her success on the track can be attributed to her unwavering dedication and focus on training methods that suit each individual horse. She understands the importance of building strong relationships with owners and jockeys alike, creating a true team effort for every race.

As one of Australia’s top female trainers, Gai continues to inspire a new generation of aspiring trainers across the country.

Tommy J. Smith: Legendary Trainer

Tommy J. Smith was a legendary Australian horse racing trainer who had an illustrious career spanning five decades. He was known for his ability to train some of the best racehorses in Australia and win major races across the country, including 33 Group One races.

Smith started his training career at just 15 years old and went on to become one of the most successful trainers in Australian turf history. He also trained other famous horses such as Kingston Town, Tulloch, and Gunsynd, all of whom won multiple Group One races under his guidance.

James Scobie: Pioneering Trainer

James Scobie was a pioneering trainer in Australian horse racing, having trained many great champions during the 19th century. Born in Scotland, Scobie arrived in Australia in 1853 and began his training career soon after.

Scobie is best known for his innovative training methods, which included using treadmills to improve horses’ fitness levels and developing customised training programs for each individual horse.

He also paid close attention to nutrition and diet planning for his horses, understanding that proper nutrition was essential for keeping them healthy and performing at their best.


In conclusion, the horse racing industry in Australia is home to some of the world’s best trainers. From Chris Waller to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, these top trainers have proven their expertise with numerous victories and accolades.

Their customised training programs, nutrition planning, and fitness routines ensure that their horses are always at their peak performance on race day. As we look back at legendary Australian trainers like Bart Cummings and Tommy J.

If you’re a fan of horse racing in Australia, there’s no shortage of exceptional trainers to follow. With online resources available for finding trainer profiles and stats, you can easily keep up-to-date on the latest news from your favourite trainers’ stables.

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