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Keeping Up With Jeremy Cross

25 September

The Tarzino Trophy launched Group 1 racing for the season over the weekend and it seemed fitting to catch up with close connection to subsequent winner Callsign Mav (Atlante) from his Melbourne base, Jeremy Cross. He has a unique and notable involvement within racing and was a co-selector of the Group 1 winning gelding as a weanling and the choice to keep close ties through part-ownership was unquestionable.

Jeremy spent his youth on the family vineyard outside of Geelong (Victoria) where farming cattle and nurturing grapevines was an integral part of everyday life. “Mum and dad basically farmed and owned restaurants, so from an early age we were taught the value of hard work”, commented Cross. Jeremy eventually took the opportunity to travel the world studying at universities in Queensland and America, before completing his thesis in Exercise Science in Sweden. Before long Jeremy became involved in racing through a good friend who sparked a deeper interest, “it all started through a good mate of mine who had an attachment to the Hayes stable, I loved going to the races and enjoy looking at the animal, not to mention the sport itself!”

Returning to Australia, Jeremy quickly became part of a sporting fabric brand in Melbourne working closely with Olympic athletes, and most recently with high performance golfers. Later the decision was made to transfer those skills into the equine world which ultimately lead to Jeremy starting his current business venture, Equine Physiotherapy and Management. “With my developing interest in horses, I really believed we could use some of the research and smarts around Olympic athletes and transfer that to horses.”

A chance meeting with racing figure Christopher Grace allowed Jeremy to develop his ties with New Zealand’s racing industry, “I came over to the NZ PGA golf event with some guys and while here, I went to the Palmerston North races. This is where I first met Christopher and Emily Holmes.” The opportunity to expand his services with Chris was and continues to be very influential in the expansion of his business, “at the time I had developed a client base in Australia and the opportunity to come out to New Zealand through Chris was fantastic. Emily gave me the confidence of being around horses and taught me a lot about general horsemanship. Chris allowed me to be open with my techniques and really gave me a go, because of this, we have been fortunate to achieve some really good results.”

The purchase of Saturdays Group 1 Tarzino Trophy winner Callsign Mav is a result of this partnership, “I saw how strong the yearling market had become and I thought the opportunity existed through buying a weanling and see if we could make a yearling. I looked through the full catalogue and with the help of Emily, he was the one we liked.” Callsign Mav was not reoffered for sale as a yearling and along with an enthusiastic group of owners, Jeremy would race him from the John Bary stable. “The owners in the horse are what make it possible and the success is great for them, John and his team have done a great job, it has been a terrific team effort.”

Jeremy’s passion for the industry continues to progress and currently breeds from a small group of mares with a select group of owners, “we have the half-sister to Callsign Mav and a half-sister to Champion Australian Filly Melito, who are both really nice mares. I look heavily at the data and we like to use proven stallions if we can, I am amazed how often they are overlooked in favour of unproven first season sires. In saying that, we have sent a mare to Pariah this year, he is from the same family as Melito and a young stallion who we are keen to back.”

With Covid-19 restrictions in place and the unlikelihood of the boarder opening soon Jeremy has had to focus largely on his Australian clients, “obviously I can’t get over to New Zealand at the moment which is a shame as we had really built momentum there and we are really keen to keep getting results, that will be the big focus for us”. While Callsign Mav remains the highlight of Jeremy’s involvement with thoroughbreds so far, his desire to make a difference in the world of racing is evident.

We caught up with Jeremy to find out more:

What race would you travel back in time for?

A horse called Great Glen. We are big on rehabilitation and we got him up to winning at Swan Hill for Henry Dwyer then backed him up two days later where he ran 2nd. I wasn’t there and that would be a day I’d like to go back and be part of knowing the work that was involved.

Race you would most like to win?  

I’d love to win the 2nd leg of the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown – for the owners and for those who can be on course!

Best horse you have seen?  

Callsign Mav! I saw Winx win two of her four Cox plates – now that was incredible! I saw Russian Camelot this week who has a presence about him as well.

Favourite racetrack

Hastings or Turks Bar!

Favourite stallion of all time?   

Galileo, I believe will change the direction completely and be more prominent in the Southern Hemisphere.

Favourite stallion at Westbury Stud?  

Reliable Man is incredibly well-bred, and he caught my eye when I saw him at the farm. But if I had to choose one it would be Telperion. Street Cry over Redoute’s Choice/Danehill is outstanding blood and he was a serious racehorse in a great crop of 2YO’s!

Best piece of breeding advice you’ve received?  

Pick what you like, listen to all the advice but back your judgment & always keep the first filly from a good mare.