Family affair for Bombay Style trainers

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Julia and Brooke Martin with Bombay Style.
Camera IconJulia and Brooke Martin with Bombay Style. Credit: Edward Scown

Mother-daughter horse training duo Julia and Brooke Martin are confident of success in the lead-up to one of the region’s biggest race meets.

Bombay Style is set to run in this Sunday’s $100,000 Batavia Sprint, and will be looking to build on a string of podium finishes since he was brought to Geraldton in January 2021.

“If he’s ridden right, and feeling good on the day, he could definitely do well, even though we do have a few good ones from Perth coming,” Julia said.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the six-year-old gelding. He’s been out of action since April last year, battling illness and regaining his fitness.

“We bought him, and he got every infection you could dream of,” Julia said.

“We’ve got him back on track, and now he’s fit. I would’ve liked him to have a couple of extra races beforehand, but it is what it is.”

While he hasn’t been racing, the Martins are confident the rest period has been good for Bombay Style, and allowed him to come into the preparation work healthy. Brooke said regular beach sessions were essential to keeping him fresh.

“Just like people, your rest days are just as important as working out,” Brooke said.

The Martins said they are lucky to have Bombay Style’s track work assisted by jockey Peta Edwards, who won the 2020 Mingenew Cup on Martin trained Galaxy Blaze. But Nicole Hopwood will be taking the reins on Sunday.

“She’s been riding (Corn Cob) and she’s done alright on him,” Julia said.

Brooke Martin grew up around her mothers horses, and has been riding and training them since she was big enough to climb on. She said working with family is much easier, because she feels more responsibility for the safety of outside staff.

“If a horse is really difficult, and someone falls off or something, you have to deal with that. If it’s your family member, it’s like, suck it up. If it’s someone else it might not go that way.”

Julia agreed, saying the family connection means they’re both on the same wavelength while working with the half-ton animals.

“I’m very blessed I’ve got Brooke. She knows how it rolls.”

The Martins run several horses which have all tasted success, but interacting with the others, Bombay Style stands out as the alpha of the stable.

“He’s a bit mean sometimes, because he’s big and strong, he uses it,” Julia said.

Because of the strength of the field, Julia said the Batavia Sprint is rated as a Perth race, which means a shift in handicap that will see Bombay Style carry 54kg in ballast weight, instead of the 60kg he might carry in a country specified race.

Bombay Style will have stiff competition, with entries from big local players Gordon Spowart and Graeme Hammarquist, and last year’s winner My Demi making the trip from Whitby — south of Perth — for another shot at Sprint success.

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