Cliff Brown close to saddling first runner in Australia

Cliff Brown

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

After returning to Australia after a 12-year stint in Singapore, trainer Cliff Brown believes he is back in his homeland better off for his time at Kranji.

“It was a tremendous experience,” Brown said as he reflected upon his time in the Asian hub.

“I think you come back a far more accomplished trainer, training in that environment.

Inferno will be known as The Inferno in Australia.

“You learn to understand your horses better there because they are with you all the time and I think you learn to notice subtle changes, differences and things like that.

“From a training perspective, (it was) just a fantastic experience. From a family stance, we loved it. It was a great city, great country, some great friends, so there’s nothing negative to say about our experience there at all.”

Asked directly if he returns to Australia as a better trainer than the one who left these shores in 2008, Brown responded in his typical self-deprecating manner.

“Absolutely; now does that mean I’m much good at it? Probably not,” he replied.

“But as far as experience and ability and learning, I suppose any trainer you ask them today what they were like 13 years ago, they’d say, ‘I’ve improved dramatically’, but I know from within myself internally, yes, I’ve improved a lot from the person that left.”

Away from racing, Brown points to the friendships that he and his family made as being the highlight of his time overseas and notes that a number of his friends from Singapore are now racing horses with him back in Australia.

Brown is now based at Mornington, where he has the capacity for 35 horses.

“It’s a great set-up, it’s good, we’re very lucky to have it and the club have been great, they’ve been very helpful, and they did some great renovations on the stables, so all is good, we’re just finding our way now and we’ll hopefully have a runner in a month or so,” Brown said.

Brown trained close to 600 winners in his time in Singapore and has brought seven horses back with him, including the exciting Inferno, who will be known as The Inferno in Australia.

“He’s settled in well, he did a bit of pre-training with Jim Conlan,” Brown said.

“He arrived in January, he went into work in March, did a month then went back out, he’s been back with us for a while, he’ll trial in about three weeks.

“I think he’s a very good six- and seven-furlong horse, so we’ll just see, but it’s one of those things, until he gets to the races, there’s no point having any great plans because you don’t know where you are.”

Brown says that all being well, it won’t be long before he has his first runners back as a Victoria-based trainer.

“I would say sometime in July, all going well,” he said.

Author: iRace