Career boost for Dane Robinson

Dane Robinson has won a place on the Darley Flying Start thoroughbred program. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER
Dane Robinson has won a place on the Darley Flying Start thoroughbred program. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER


Two months at Kildangen Stud in Ireland, a couple more in horse heaven at Newmarket then six months at Kentucky - and that's just for starters.

Welcome to the life of a thoroughbred industry globetrotter - or more precisely what's in store for Dane Robinson over the next couple of years.

From humble beginnings on the South Coast after he was born into a racing family, Robinson has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime with Darley's Flying Start program.

It has an annual intake of just 12 as the international breeding and racing giant sifts through applications from around the world. And Robinson, the son of well-known Shoalhaven Heads trainer Terry, is one of the lucky few this year.

"It's funny because my sister Jen got the Rhodes scholarship and they only hand out a dozen of them around the world," Robinson said. "This is like the Rhodes scholarship of the thoroughbred industry.

"The good thing about the course is it gives you experience in everything so hopefully it will give me time to really think about what I want to do and hopefully by the end of it I'll be set on the right path.

"The syllabus covers everything from business management to accounting for the equine industry. There's hands-on experience all the way through to veterinary and farrier work."

Having first been alerted to the Flying Start program while working at Meroo Meadow's boutique stud Bell View Park, Robinson realised he would need more experience before applying.

He picked up a job at Gai Waterhouse's stable and now with the requisite experience was accepted into the Flying Start program with a recommendation from racing's first lady.

"She's very supportive and when I asked she was more than keen to help me apply," Robinson said.

"She wrote me a reference and gave me a leg-up which I think helped in the end."

Not that there wasn't any help from his old man either.

"The whole application process you have to take videos of yourself riding horses so I've had to go down to dad's training facility and had to borrow one of his old horses," Robinson joked.

Robinson will head to Darley's Kildangen Stud in August to begin his Flying Start adventure, which will then take him across to the United Kingdom.

From there it's on to Kentucky for six months before heading back to Australia for the same amount of time. Inductees then head to Dubai for another couple of months before finishing off at Kildangen Stud early in 2016.


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