By Garry Howe
Sisters Sue Ridgway and Kate Grossek reckon they have one of the best jobs going around.
As owner liaison officers, their job on a Pakenham race day is to entertain the connections of the winning horses.
At last Thursday’s big Pakenham Gazette Oaks Day meeting, there was a bit of a role reversal after their horse Fudged took out the feature Pakenham Gazette Handicap.
They had to entertain themselves!
Sue and Kate (nee Daniels) grew up around horses in Warragul. They were into Shetland ponies as kids and eventually graduated to thoroughbreds, where they have had considerable success over the past 30 years or so.
Their best horses have been Danerich, Ruby Slipper and current day star Bassett, who was an unlucky eighth in the Sensis Digital Trophy at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
They have had a few winners at Pakenham, but Fudged was the first time they had earned a trophy there.
“Every time we have a winner here we go crook at Hodgey (CEO Michael Hodge) because there is no trophy,” Kate smiled. “Well, we’ve finally got one.”
Kate said the owner liaison job was a perfect fit for them.
“We love talking to people about racing and hearing their stories,” she explained. “When you are into racing as much as we are, you know how hard it is to get into this room, so we like to make a big deal of them when they get here.”