Episode 321: Ray Walker

Many good judges believe Mister Rea is the best 2 year old pacer seen out this season. The no nonsense colt is unbeaten in six runs. We catch up with his trainer Ray Walker. 

Ray has bred many of his best horses over the years including Mister Rea. He says the colt’s dam was a very fast mare.

He says the grand dam was even better but plagued with problems.

Ray talks of Mister Rea’s manners and faultless gait. He talks of his co- owners wife Jane and long time friend Greg O’Callaghan. 

He reviews the colt’s racing career so far, and tells us a little about the background of regular driver Darryl Perrot.

Ray looks back on the horror race fall which claimed the life of his father Col in 1978. He immediately took over the running of the family training operation in Leeton.

The popular horseman looks back on his first win and his initial success at Harold Park.

He reflects on the career of the only 2 year old he compares with Mister Rea. Ray looks back on Jossella- the wonderful mare who launched his professional career. He highlights Granodorite, another great money spinner in his early days, and Glenburn Chef who did a great job before going amiss.

He looks back on the worst race fall of his career. He was in a multiple pile up on the final turn at Bulli. To this day he feels the effects of a broken heel.

Ray speaks of his all time favourite Imastrongone winner of an amazing 34 races.  Fast, tough and brave he was a fiercely competitive racehorse. He also speaks glowingly of another tough cookie in Vasco Da Gama.

He looks back on a career which has yielded hundreds of winners and multiple premierships. He says he’s cutting back a bit these days.

No discussion with a Temora man would be complete without a tribute to the great Paleface Adios. Ray remembers the champion fondly.

He talks of the invaluable support of his wife Jane who drives fast work on the Temora track. 

Ray enjoys the breeding side of the business and makes mention of his broodmare band. 

When pressed to nominate his all time race driving hero he comes up with a legendary name from the 1970’s.

Ray offers his comments on the decision by HRA and HRNZ to change the official birthday of southern hemisphere standardbreds.

Great to catch up with a devoted trotting man from the NSW Riverina.

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