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Lamings sipping on a Gin A Tonic

Fri 10 May 2024

By Jordan Gerrans

The history of racing in Queensland through the winter is littered with Laming-prepared Group 1 victories throughout the decades.

Prized races such as the Stradbroke Handicap, Brisbane Cup and Glasshouse Handicap, among others, have been claimed by the family.

At times it was father Bevan listed as the trainer, on other occasions it was son Richard and they have also trained as a partnership, as well.

In the Queensland Racing Carnival of 2024, it is Bevan’s name in the form guide with his son Richard running the show on the Gold Coast.

The famous racing clan get their first shot at black-type action for the winter this year with unbeaten colt Gin A Tonic aiming up for Saturday’s Ken Russell Memorial Classic at Caloundra with bigger targets planned down the line for the colt.

Multiple Group 1-winning rider Michael Cahill will need to weave his magic from a tough draw on Saturday in the Group 3 event, but Richard feels the horse has the ability to do so.

“He is the best we can have him,” Richard said.

“The barrier draw probably is not ideal in 21.  We are pretty confident, but he will just need some luck from the tricky gate.”

Gin A Tonic was a $120,000 Gold Coast Yearling Sale buy for the Lamings.

He led and won on debut in midweek city grade in the middle of March before stepping it up to Saturday company a month ago.

The talented son of Better Than Ready did the same in his second public outing, Cahill steering him from a wide gate to the front and he scored by a touch under two lengths.

That is when Richard thought they had something promising on their hands.

“He drew 18 last start and he will just jump and roll forward – he makes his own luck,” he said.

“He led very easily last start and we will do the same and push forward.”

The Sunshine Coast track is rated a Heavy 10 as of Friday morning.

Richard thinks that should suit Gin A Tonic as he has worked well in the wet of late.

He is a $10 chance as of Friday morning and is on the fourth line of betting.

The Lamings have nominations in for the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Group 2 level and then the time-honoured J.J. Atkins with Gin A Tonic.

At this stage Richard says they are taking it one run at a time.

Gin A Tonic is only in his first preparation as a racehorse and has been in work for a long time.

“He has been very impressive,” Richard said.

“When he was first-up we thought he would run well but he surprised us.

“In his second start he definitely put the writing on the wall that he was a really nice colt.

“He took luck out of the equation – he jumped and led well – and put them away without being asked for an effort. It was a pretty impressive win.

“He always showed good ability early days and seeing as he is two from two, he can’t do any more.”

The Lamings have around 50 gallopers in work spread across their Victoria and Queensland operations.

They have 20 at Cranbourne and 30 in the Sunshine State, with 15 at their Gold Coast barn as well as another 15 at their Jacobs Well facility.

Richard splits his time between the two states to ensure both stables are ticking over smoothly.

The team also have carnival ambitions with a few others on top of Gin A Tonic.

Bank Maur – who races in Richard’s name – goes around at Caulfield on Saturday in the Selangor Turf Club Handicap and if the entire is successful, he will likely come north for a campaign aimed towards the Stradbroke Handicap.

Also, in at Caulfield on Saturday is Reo in the Darren Gauci Handicap.

Reo raced through the winter in Brisbane last year and finished second in the Group 1 Oaks.

Young filly Grey Ice is another from the camp who they hold carnival hopes with.

The three-year-old grey won a QTIS Three-Year-Old Benchmark 68 Handicap at Caloundra late last month before finishing just over two lengths behind the winner on Wednesday in town.

Richard has big plans for Grey Ice as she is nominated for the Oaks over 2200 metres.

Michael Cahill scoring aboard Gin A Tonic.

“She is better than Saturday grade and she is on a path to the Oaks,” he said.

“Her run on Wednesday, she probably just run out of condition in the last little bit.

“She will come on and improve, she will head to the Roses and then on to the Oaks.”

Purveyor is another galloper from the team they hope can figure in Group races over the carnival with the gelding on a three-year-old path to the Derby via the Rough Habit Plate.

The Laming family won the 1995 and 1997 Brisbane Cups with Desert Chill when it was a Group 1 race over 3200 metres and the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap with St Basil in 2005.

Bevan Laming was also in a joint training partnership with his son when Crossthestart won the 2010 Brisbane Cup.

Richard Laming also won the Listed Glasshouse Handicap at the Sunshine Coast in 2018 with Jamaican Rain, who went on to win twice at Group 3 level in Victoria the following year.