After more than seven decades in the racing industry, Gosford legend Albert Stapleford is hanging up the straps.
The 93-year-old is walking away with a lifetime of memories, a career highlight he tells Gosford Race Club, stemming back to 1976 at the Bong Bong Cup.
“I won the first race ever shown in sport on coloured television at Bong Bong Cup.”
One of his most popular thoroughbreds being the four-time metropolitan winner, Magic Albert who finished third to Excellerator in the Magic Millions.
“The dearest horse I ever bought” said Albert. “I bought him at the Magic Millions sales. He ran fifth at Randwick at his first start and won his next two at Rosehill.”
Although it was a horse in the mid-80s that holds a special place in Stapleford’s heart. It’s Lunchtime also coming home with a few Sydney meets.
“He wasn’t quite as good as Magic Albert but he was a good horse, a very faithful horse.”
The first winner Stapleford bought as a registered trainer was when he was only 17. Catching a train with his cousin and travelling down to Sydney to purchase the later known Renmark, before running to his first win at Muswellbrook.
“We sat in the grandstand and when this horse came in, later known as Renmark, we bought him for 40 guineas.”
Stapleford’s luck extended to his home track, seeing his first Gosford win with Belah Chief in 1957. But it was only earlier this year that the Gosford Trainer crossed a massive milestone on home turf, marking his 500th career win with Dissenter. The six-year-old mare winning again only a week later, taking the Gosford Trainer to 501 wins in total during his career.
Although Stapleford will no longer be racing thoroughbreds, he says the challenge is what has kept him in the industry for the last 75 years.
“I’ve had a few ups, few downs racing is like that, same with everything in life. I just love the challenge.”
Congratulations on a stellar career Albert and enjoy retirement.