Bellamy gets special honour
COFFS Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy was recognised on Friday night at Racing NSW’s Awards for Excellence dinner when he was announced as the recipient of a special achievement award.
The premiership-winning trainer was a finalist in the country trainer of the year category and although he didn’t win this prize, Bellamy was still honoured by the racing industry for his support and development of apprentice jockeys over many years.
Bellamy didn’t find out about the award until Saturday morning but he said was filled with both surprise and enormous pride at the honour.
“To be recognised for the work that you’ve done in racing and all of that sort of stuff over a long period of time gives you a great deal of satisfaction to know that the hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Bellamy said.
While thrilled with the award, Bellamy admitted that without a good crew of apprentices who have come through his stable over the years he wouldn’t have received such a prestigious honour from his peers.
Impressive apprentice jockeys like Jamie Quinnell, Matthew Chadwick, Glen Courtney and the late Daniel Baker all learned the game under the local trainer’s tutelage while famed hoops Zac Purton and Glen ‘Spike’ Colless also landed plenty of winners for him while they were young apprentices.
“I think the way racing is at the moment an apprentice is a big, big asset for a big stable like mine and I’ve been very blessed to be involved with some very, very good ones,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy quickly added that his good fortune with apprentices is continuing with the good work that Samantha Munro is currently doing.
“She’s a young girl with plenty of ability,” he said.
It is a simple formula for success with the young jockeys that Bellamy has. Taking them under the wing early in the piece ensures that the apprentices are doing the right thing from the word go.
“The only bad habits are the ones that you’re going to teach them so if you teach them right in the first place there’s a good chance of seeing them do what you want them to do,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy also added that trainers taking on apprentices is vital for the future health of racing.
“Without giving the kids a go we’re going to lose a lot of kids to different industries,” he said.
Coffs Harbour Racing Club chairman Alan Johnson accepted the award on Bellamy’s behalf and said that it was a most deserved award.
“As one of the leading trainers on the Northern Rivers it is great to see the industry and his peers acknowledge his work and support of the trade,” Johnson said.