Warwick Farm tradition dictates any trainer worthy of winning a Group 1 race can provide a Group 1 breakfast to go with it – prawns and champagne of course.
The bill can soar into the thousands, but how can anyone complain with a major on the mantelpiece?
Scott Aspery has skirted around many a prawn and champagne breakfast at the south-western Sydney training centre. Yet he has never played host.
‘‘It will happen sooner rather than later I hope,’’ said Aspery, whose team of eight progressive horses in work are tucked away at the back of a nondescript Warwick Farm street.
‘‘I think we’ve got the horses to get there within the next 12 months and I’m looking forward to it as it will be a big buzz when it happens.’’
Confidence? No doubt. But when you’ve had the ear of Gai Waterhouse, John O’Shea, Graeme Rogerson and Bart Cummings you shouldn’t doubt yourself.
They’re some of the greatest minds in Australian racing – and Aspery has worked for all of them. Actually, poached by them might be a better summation.
And then inevitably comes the time to branch out on your own.
‘‘It’s always something I had in the back of my mind and after seven years at Randwick... that’s a long enough apprenticeship for anyone in any trade,’’ Aspery said. ‘‘It was now or never.
‘‘It’s been mentally and financially draining. It’s very difficult to go out on your own when you haven’t got the backing of a major owner or a stud. I took the dive so here we are today.’’
Aspery is wrestling with a filly out of sprinting sire Snitzel, described as ‘‘a bit busy in the head’’.
He has been preached to use patience as a trainer. And the filly - Estonian Princess - certainly tests that. But when you’re contemplating nursing one of Snitzel’s offspring to run over the 2400-metre trip of the Australian Oaks, things were never going to be easy.
‘‘She’s a very quirky filly ... always had a bit of an attitude,’’ Aspery said before Estonian Princess tackles the Group 3 Illawarra Mercury Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) on Sunday. ‘‘We’re just working with her to harness that energy without breaking her spirit.
‘‘This has been a race we’ve set for her for quite some time. You could say it’s her grand final and she’s ready to go.’’
Glenn and Viive Williams of Karuta Queen fame have been Aspery’s biggest supporters, racing Estonian Princess and Australian Derby-bound Star Wars, one of just three Group1 runners Aspery has saddled up.
The next might emerge in the coming weeks if Estonian Princess, again drawn poorly for the Keith Nolan after a luckless Canberra Guineas effort, can measure up.
Not that Aspery is short of sounding boards on how to get to the Oaks.
‘‘The Warwick Farm trainers are a good ‘family’ and everyone is pretty approachable.They’re pretty keen to offer their advice whether you want it or not. It’s a good environment to learn the craft,’’ he said.
And maybe how to host a Group1 breakfast or two as well.