Operating form a top-class 70-acre property just 10 minutes’ drive from the state-of-the-art Cranbourne Training Complex, Matthew Brown is happy to work with, in modern racing terms, a boutique stable of up to 26 horses in work.
The former concreter-turned-trainer entered the racing industry in perhaps unlikely circumstances, with only limited exposure to the sport but once he was hooked, he has not looked back,
He quickly honed his skills under a number of different trainers before branching out on his own in 2015.
“I left school to be a concreter and I got approached by the Richard Laming stable when we concreted their place and they said if I wanted some more work to pop out and do a bit of work with them and it went from there,” Brown recalled.
“I got involved with the horses from there. I worked with the Lamings for four-and-a-half years, then I went to Tasmania and worked with Scott and David Brunton for a little while.
“You never stop learning and my aim is to improve each season. I’ve only been going on five years and I’m are learning plenty along the way.”
“I then came home and did a bit of work for a few others at Cranbourne, Robbie Griffiths and Nikki Burke for a couple of years, and then I went to Jason Warren’s, Marcus Fahler’s and Shane Nichols’ over at Mornington.”
During his racing “apprenticeship”, Brown also took out his picnic jockey’s licence and continues to ride trackwork to this day.
“I’ve picked up bits and pieces from everyone. I rode a lot of work for different people as well and I became a picnic jockey when I came home from Tasmania,” he said.
“I did that for about three seasons. I learnt a little bit out of that but always knowing that I wanted to train.”
Brown’s biggest success came with a tried horse, talented mare Kiss Me Ketut, who won the 2017 Group 3 Vamos Stakes (1400m) at Launceston.
While a stakes win in itself is one for the CV, it also demonstrates Brown’s ability to think outside the square and place his horses to advantage.
“We have 26 stables here on the farm, but we choose to have them in paddocks and yards if we can. We have a table barn with tie-ups and a walker all under one roof. We also have a 1000-metre track and it breaks things up as some horses don’t like being taken to the Cranbourne track every day,” he said.
Brown is certainly happy with the way his stable is progressing but is far from satisfied and hopes to be a mainstay of the Victorian training ranks for years to come.
“We’ve got a bar on the farm for the owners to pop out and we quite enjoy the owners coming down. The owners enjoy getting out into the paddocks, having a look around the farm and seeing their horses. It’s something we encourage them to do as well.”