Instant trials success for new Cambridge trainer

It didn’t take Mark Forbes long to notch up his first trials winner as a trainer.

Forbes (24), a son of trainer and former jockey Graeme Forbes, was granted his trainer’s licence last Friday week and four days later he saddled up three horses at the Cambridge trials for a win and two thirds.

His first two trials representatives, an Elusive City – Mills Field colt and a Zabeel – Diversa colt, both finished third in juvenile 800-metre heats and he then won with an unnamed Spartacus – Allymoor colt in a maiden trial over 950 metres. All three were ridden by his younger brother, talented apprentice Alex Forbes.

“It was a good start,” said Forbes. “I was hoping to have my first starter on Saturday (at Tauranga), but Keepercrossed has got a bit of a stone bruise so I’ll wait until Te Awamutu on July 6 with her.”

Forbes is also likely to start Wrecking Crew, a horse he part-owns, within the next few weeks. Wrecking Crew picked up his second win when scoring from Stephen Marsh’s stable at Te Rapa last Saturday week.

Forbes was always destined to follow in his family’s footsteps by working in the racing industry. He has racing blood on both sides of his family as not only were both his father, and his grandfather (on his Dad’s side) jockeys, his mother, Sheryl, is a sister to former top jockey Peter Tims and a sister-in-law to another top jockey, Greg Childs, and a daughter of Gary Tims, who has had a lifetime involvement within racing.

“I’ve been riding trackwork since I was young and I started working part-time at Cambridge Stud when I was 14, then I went full-time there when I was 15,” said Forbes.

“In the off-seasons I got an Irish National Stud Scholarship and also spent a few months with David Hayes in Aussie.”

Forbes is the Cambridge Stud Yearling Manager and is looking forward to mixing that work with training.

“I’ve always loved training and I’ve always had a share in a horse,” he said. “My first winner was Enjoyit, who won twice, and as well as the two wins I’ve had with Wrecking Crew, I’ve had a win with Eskabar.”

Eskabar was also a winner at last week’s Cambridge trials with Gary Tims as the trainer.”But I’ll take over training him soon,” said Forbes.

Meanwhile, Forbes’ father, Graeme, is enjoying his role as a trainer in China. “At the first meeting he had two winners and four seconds,” said Forbes. “He’s been there about three months and he is loving it.”