A lifetime involvement with the industry, vast international knowledge and an amiable nature all combine to make Lyle Plumb (left) one of racing’s great ‘networkers’ – an ideal choice as Eliza Park’s representative in Asia.
Indeed, so ensconced in his current role, it’s easy to forget that Lyle was a more than handy trainer in his day and keenly sought out for his selection prowess.
That ‘eye’ for a horse well and truly came to the fore again last Saturday (6 February) in the $200,000 Expressway Stakes at Rosehill when Rangirangdoo captured the Group Two sprint for Neville Morgan.
Lyle trained his first city winner for Morgan – the applicably named, Still Friends, at Doomben in 1984 – and Neville has owned some outstanding gallopers over the years including The Grouch (multiple stakes placed), Sir Pentire (VRC St Leger) and Damigos (a dual stakes winner out of Still Friends).
Around the time Lyle took up his role for Eliza Park, Neville asked him to go over to New Zealand to buy a Pentire on his behalf.
Lyle spied Lot 53 – from the multiple stakes placed Kenfair mare She Wishes – and although it was outside the parameters of Neville’s budget, Lyle considered the colt the best Pentire in the sale and eventually forked out NZ$170,000 for the privilege.
Suggesting that Neville send the horse to Sydney as an unraced 3YO, Lyle’s son, Ryan – an accomplished jockey in his own right – hopped on board and reported to his dad that the neddy was ‘top shelf’.
Although caught up in the EI outbreak, the Pentire – subsequently named Rangirangdoo – was sent to Chris Waller on Lyle’s recommendation. The rest, as they say in the classics, is history.
Rangirangdoo has now raced on 15 occasions for eight wins and six placings including victories in the Tramway-G3 and Crystal Mile-G2, along with a whisker second to Rock Kingdom in last October’s Epsom Handicap-G1 at Randwick.
Rangirangdoo has now won over $630,000 and it’s fairly safe to assume that Neville has forgiven Lyle for overspending at Karaka!