Roy Rogers capped a successful Great Southern season by securing the trainer’s title for a second time, but deflected all praise to his family and stable staff.
Rogers, with 36 wins, held on to win by two from arch rival Steve Wolfe, who made a late bid for victory with four winners at Sunday’s season-ending meeting.
Rogers claimed his second premiership in three years, breaking the long-standing dominance of Wolfe, who had won 24 of the past 30 Great Southern titles.
Rogers said winning the premiership is something he will savour and is proud of, but it’s a reflection of his stables hard work and the sacrifices made by his family.
“It’s not just about me, it’s a great team effort,” Rogers told The Races WA.
“It’s about the team and the support that I’ve had from great clients.
“I have a terrific association with Mt Hallowell Stud and Craig Thompson.
“It’s not just about me, it’s the collective, doing it for a group of people.
“It’s also about my family, they are everything, and put up with a lot.
“There are long hours involved being a trainer and it can impact your family.
“At the end of the day family is everything and I couldn’t achieve anything without them.”
With that in mind, Rogers says he will look at cutting back on the number of horses for next season.
“At the start of the season I had 60 horses in work and now I’ve got 20.
“I’ve gone through them and moved the horses that won’t measure up.
“My goal is to get support from clients that want that little bit of extra care.
“I think I’ve mastered my craft and I want to have quality, not quantity.
“I’ve purposely scaled back, not ridiculously, but I want to spend more time with my two young boys.”
In a season of multiple highlights, Rogers said combining with jockey Beaux Banovic-Edwards and mare Strathmore Rose to win Albany’s main sprint stands out.
“Winning my third Fitzpatrick Plate in a row was a real buzz,” Rogers said.
“It was Beaux’s first big win and having a great relationship with her family made it a special victory.
“Also helping young Brayden Gareth achieve his goals, smashing the apprentice award.
“He’s a terrific young bloke and it was good to be able to help him.
“I’m very loyal to the hard workers in this game and it’s very rewarding to see people grow.”
Sticking with the loyalty theme, Rogers said Mr Causeway’s win at Ascot last November, when ridden by Damien Oliver, holds sentimental value.
“Winning that race was very special,” Rogers said.
“He sourced the horse from Melbourne for me and it was great to win the race at 20 to 1.
“It was the ride of a true champion.
“I was really good mates with Damien’s brother, Jason when we were apprentices.
“I would spend most of my nights at the Oliver kitchen table and without the family support I probably wouldn’t be in the industry.”
Rogers’ stable mates Sneaky Fox and God’s Moment finished one-two in Horse of The Year.
Natasha Faithfull won Leading Jockey with 18 wins.
This article was written for The Races WA
WRITTEN BY JULIO SANTARELLI
IMAGE: WESTERN RACEPIX