by Grant Morgan
It is with much regret we acknowledge the passing of John Gilbert.
After losing his beloved Barbara, John sustained a serious stroke and very sadly passed in Melbourne on Monday.
John and Barbara are survived by sons Simon, Craig, Mark and Adam and a wider family group which will carry on the Gilbert name for many generations to come.
John was an amazing man who is simply irreplaceable. After coming to terms with losing Barbara, its absolutely heart breaking that John has now left us too.
A very successful businessman in both Queensland and Victoria, John Gilbert’s business interests were vast an eclectic right until the end.
They ranged from developing the Coomera Springs sub division on the Northern Gold Coast, international offshore Power Boat racing and successful stage musical productions like ‘Dusty’ and 'Dream Lover'. Life was never dull for John and anyone fortunate enough to have spent time with him.
I was originally introduced to John Gilbert by my Gold Coast Racing partner John Wightman, another very successful business figure here in South East Queensland. I count myself very fortunate to have been tutored in business and life by both men, both leaving indelible marks spanning almost 20 years.
John Gilbert had a wonderfully common touch that made him at ease with business heavyweights and street sweepers alike. He never forgot his humble roots and the work ethic that made him.
Rest easy John with your beloved Barbara beside you. Forever in our hearts and minds.
Late last week we lost an incredibly special person and one of the strongest ‘All Gold’ supporters with Barbara Gilbert passing late last week in Melbourne.
Our immediate thoughts are now with John Gilbert who tragically suffered a serious stroke this week, adding to the immense pain being suffered by the family.
Barbara and John have been a cornerstone of our syndicate and tour business since our inception.
“John and Barbara have been amazing supporters, staunch advocates, but above all, wonderful friends particularly when times were tough,” said Grant Morgan.
“ I’m devastated by Barbara’s passing and John’s subsequent serious illness. Words really can’t express how everyone is feeling about this horrible news.”
At the time of her passing, Barbara was a shareholder in Brazen Gem, Invincore, Brazen Force, Gallant Mist and Alfresco.
John and Barbara formed an integral part of our initial tour groups to the Hunter Valley and New Zealand, before later joining us in Hong Kong, Royal Ascot, Ireland, Dubai and subsequent tours of the Hunter Valley and New Zealand.
Barbara was also the major part owner of the first horse to carry our ‘All Gold’ colours at Group 1 level when the Mick Price prepared Galaxy Lad was unplaced in the 2007 VRC Derby.
Our love and support is with sons Simon, Craig, Mark and Adam and their extended family and friends.
Lauren Abbott scores first win for OnTrack
Immature three year-old Calcareous broke through for a character building win at his first start for new trainer Lauren Abbott on the final day of the time honoured Grafton July carnival.
Now a rangy grey gelding by Not A Single Doubt, Calcareous had shown good ability at the trials for Toby and Trent Edmonds before being switched to Lauren Abbott in an attempt to try and unlock his quirky personality.
Ontrack’s Grant Morgan explains that Calcareous has been an immature horse with ability, but has required some left field thinking after disappointing at his only start.
“Calcareous has been very immature mentally and has really taken a long time to grow up after disappointing on debut in his first prep," said Morgan.
“We gelded him, but last prep after three trials he just wasn’t holding condition and enjoying training so we bit the bullet and turned him back out without racing.
“He appeared to me as one of those horses not ideally suited to bigger stable life so I thought we would try him with a smaller stable which might be able to get in between his ears and work out what makes him tick.
Morgan turned to Brisbane trainer Lauren Abbott.
“Lauren does plenty of beach work and has him going on and off floats all the time. This has made him a bit tougher and has made him grow up.
“As a result he seems to be enjoying his work and holding his condition much better.
“I think its also been good that Lauren rides much of her own work, enabling her to get to know his quirks and traits.
“This is the first horse Lauren has had for us, but I’ve known her for a long time and have every confidence in her ability. I’m thrilled she has been able to get an immediate result and I hope it helps put her on the map,” said Morgan
Calcareous is out of the grey Reset mare Warpath who won 7 races for John O’Shea, including a Listed win in Sydney over 1600m.
“I have no doubt he will be a better 4yo and 5yo and is likely to get out to a mile like his dam did. I think that this family gets better with time although they all show ability early.
“But we really needed to change things up with him as he could have been a horse that slipped right through the cracks,” said Morgan.
Warpath is now the dam of 6 six to race for 6 winners, including Group 2 winner Positive Peace. She is also the dam of last week’s impressive Eagle Farm winner Rotator, a four year-old full sister to Calcareous now being prepared by David Vandyke.
Andrew Mallyon partnered Calcareous to victory at Grafton, but much of the ground work for success was laid by fellow rider James Orman.
“Jimmy (Orman) has ridden him a fair bit in a jump out and gallops to get him ready for this. It was unfortunate he couldn’t take the ride due to other commitments at the Sunshine Coast,” said Morgan.
Congratulations to Calcareous owners: Sean Reilly, David & Sue Worthley, Grojo Racing (Manager Brett Grogan), Paul Kitching, David Moretti, Mark Ostermeyer, Ricky & Reg Kim, Russell Neave, Tracey Lindstrom, Andrew Wellington, Dr Andrew Terluk, Nicole Lennox, Ken Stocks, Colin McFarlane, Brady Crowe, Stuart Cadzow, Stephen Carroll, Paul Ashley, Jenny Ball, Scott Boole, Tony Browning, Brian Cadusch, Darren Chiswick, Gary Egan, David Garnett, Trevor McPhail, Wendy Meppem, Gary Nelson, Troy O’Neil, Melissa Taylor & Peter Viney.
The much-loved Dream Master has been retired as a happy and sound seven year-old.
Dream Master was placed in his new off track home by current trainer Mitch Beer with enthusiastic young employee Kip Rieck.
Kip fell in love with Dream Master whilst in work, and was quick to put her hand up to provide a wonderful new direction away from the racetrack.
Full credit must go to the Dream Master ownership group which didn’t hesitate to retire him following a lack lustre final start at Wagga on 29 May which indicated he had lost his zest for racing.
Aside from Kip Rieck, the shareholder group also put forward several other re-homing options, whilst former trainer Toby Edmonds also volunteered a new off track home.
Dream Master won 6 races and was placed in a further 14 in a 34 start career spanned between three stables - Chris Waller, Toby and Trent Edmonds and Mitch Beer.
Born in Western Australia, Kip Rieck comes from a pony club back ground and embarked in a full time career with Mitch Beer from school after moving to a Sheep/Grain farm in Swan Hill.
“I fell in love with Dream Master straight away. He had a beautiful temperament around the track and stables. I’m so thankful to have been given him and I look forward to our future together after he’s had a well deserved rest,” said Kip.
Encouraged to ride by her mother from a very young age, Kip’s talents in the saddle grew as she worked moving cattle and participating in horse events at pony club.
“ Me and my brother did school of the air back in WA but half of my schooling was done on horse back as I didn’t like the classroom.
“ We eventually moved closer to Perth where my mum either worked with horse or cattle on farms. I always helped and quite often was required to move cattle on horseback," said Kip.
We wish Kip and Dream Master (aka Andy) the very best for the future and we look forward to seeing them both progress.