Leading South African stable to set up shop in Murray Bridge

Murray Bridge bound: Legendary South African horse trainers Gary and Dean Alexander are relocating to Murray Bridge to set up a stable. Photo: Supplied.

Murray Bridge bound: Legendary South African horse trainers Gary and Dean Alexander are relocating to Murray Bridge to set up a stable. Photo: Supplied.

Leading South African horse trainers, Gary and Dean Alexander, have moved around the world to utilise the under-development training centre of excellence based at Murray Bridge.

The Group 1-winning brothers have relocated from South Africa's premier racecourse, Turffontein, Johannesburg, following state government and industry investment in South Australian horse racing.

The pair have recently settled into Adelaide after completing mandatory COVID-19 quarantine and will utilise the facilities at Morphettville Racecourse until the end of 2021, while they wait for completion of their stables at Murray Bridge.

With over 1500 winners in a career spanning more than 30 years, the pairs' decision to set up a stable in Murray Bridge is set to create local jobs and act as a draw-card for racing enthusiasts.

Dean Alexander said he was excited about commencing the next stage of his career in South Australia.

Industry draw-card: The Alexanders have trained more than 1500 winners in a career spanning more than 30 years. Photo: Supplied.

Industry draw-card: The Alexanders have trained more than 1500 winners in a career spanning more than 30 years. Photo: Supplied.

"Racing in Australia in general is so strong and buoyant. There's a great team doing a lot for racing in South Australia to help grow it and that's fantastic. Also, the government is supporting it which is fantastic," Mr Alexander said.

"I think you'll see racing over here over the next few years will just keep going up and it will be great to be part of that."

Racing SA CEO Nick Redin said attracting such a well-credentialed international stable to SA highlighted the significant work being done, following a joint multi-million dollar state government and industry funding commitment made in 2019.

"The government started investing in South Australian racing a couple of years ago and we are now seeing the benefits of that," Mr Redin said.

"People know the infrastructure here is good and, because of that, we're able to attract new people to the state.

"It's a huge coup for South Australian racing to have the Alexanders here and it goes to the core of what we're trying to do, grow racing, protect and grow jobs and get more horses in work."

Mr Redin said the South Australian racing industry now had the attention of more interstate and international horse trainers and jockeys.

"We are becoming a destination where participants want to live and work," he said.

Aimed at protecting and creating local jobs, while making SA racing more competitive, the Marshall Liberal Government's $24 million industry stimulus package, first announced in 2019, includes $2.8 million set aside in the Racing Industry Fund for 10 projects across the state.

Among these projects is the $505,000 uphill training track at Murray Bridge Racing Club's Gifford Hill facility, with the club also benefitting from an additional $5 million funding commitment in the 2020/21 State Budget which was supplemented with funding from Racing SA to see the development of 150 on-course stables and a 70-metre equine pool.