Gore double for part-time trainer

Lisa Vaughan trained a double at Gore on Thursday. Photo: Wild Range Photography

Shirley Maude (NZ) (Fully Fledged) and Morellmac (Excelebration) combined to deliver a perfect result at Gore on Thursday for Lisa Vaughan.

The pair are the only two active racehorses in the Ascot Park trainer’s stable, and they captured the Henderson Livestock Open (1200m) and the Thomas Green and Howl at the Moon Rating 65 (2000m) respectively.

“That was a great result, I was really happy with the way both horses performed,” Vaughan said.

Training is very much a side venture for Vaughan, who also runs a construction business with her husband, former All Black Simon Culhane.

“We have four horses at the moment,” she said. “There’s those two racehorses, plus one that I’ve just broken in and another young one.

“The business takes up most of our time, but I head out to the track early in the morning to look after the horses. I get up at 4.30am, and then I’m in the office all day from 8am. It’s a long day, but being at the track with the horses is a great way to start the day.”

Vaughan trains Morrellmac for owner-breeders Willie and Karen Calder, while she also owns Shirley Maude in partnership with her husband and her father Ray Vaughan, along with Jamie Jospeh who has been hailed over the last six weeks for his coaching of Japan’s historic Rugby World Cup campaign.

“Jamie is a very keen racing man and follows this mare’s progress closely,” Vaughan said. “Simon and Jamie were All Blacks together and also coached together at the Highlanders, so they’ve built a very strong friendship.”

Vaughan has been training since the 1995-96 season and has amassed a total of 65 wins from 570 runners. Her best season was in 2013-14, when she trained eight winners.

She grew up around horses, and training a team of her own was a logical progression.

“I’ve always loved horses, they’ve always been a big part of our family,” she said. “Dad always had horses, and he held a standardbred trainer’s licence for a while. So I’d always been around them and loved them, but I especially loved thoroughbreds, so that was what I was hoping I’d get the chance to do.”

Vaughan’s big double was part of a clean sweep of the seven-race Gore meeting by female trainers. Jo-Ann Gordon, Amanda Schwarz, Leda Beck and Jackie Burrows trained one winner each, while Aimee Tyler trains the Grant Farming Partnership Open (1800m) winner Galway Garry in partnership with her father Kelvin.

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