[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#1d3f7a”]L[/dropcap]eon Corstens has been around horses all of his life on both sides of the fence. He was an up and coming jockey in South Australia, until a tragic track fall took race riding away from him. After the fall Leon was approached by the mercurial Bart Cummings to take over the reins as stable foreman, which he accepted and the rest is history.
The pair proved a formidable force for 25 years, wining Derby’s, Oaks and numerous Melbourne Cups with such horses as Hyperno, Think Big, Kingston Rule, Shiva’s Revenge, Shaftesbury Avenue and Let’s Elope.
In 1994 Leon decided to part ways with Bart to train in his own right and it wasn’t before long that he tasted group 1 success with Cherontessa, wining the South Australasian Oaks. He has trained a swag of group winners including Miss Power Bird, Royale Exit, Night Chaser, Lord Luskin, Magic Music, Mr Martini and the triple group one winner Helenus.
Leon was also responsible for International sensation Starspangledbanner who he trained to win a Caulfield Guineas and an Oakleigh Plate before he went on to win the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot and July Cup at Newmarket in the UK.
[dropcap type=”circle” color=”#ffffff” background=”#1d3f7a”]A[/dropcap] hit and run raid on Sydney from his former home of Foxton in New Zealand in 1998 proved the forerunner to Kiwi horseman Chris Waller making a fulltime move to Australia.
Chris only brought one horse to Sydney for his first Sydney attack – Party Belle – and they went home a winner. Following that Chris made more frequent hit and run trips to Sydney where he stayed at Rosehill before eventually making the move permanent.
Having started with a small team of four horses when granted stables at Rosehill, Chris now has 100 thoroughbreds in full work and the team is of the highest quality.
In the autumn of 2008 Waller prepared his first Group 1 winner when Triple Honour rocketed to victory in the Doncaster Handicap. That breakthrough win followed a nose second to star galloper Weekend Hussler in the Randwick Guineas.
Since then Chris has experienced many big race wins including the 2010 Group 1 Doncaster Handicap with Rangirangdoo, The 2010 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes and Manikato Stakes with Danleigh, The 2010 Group 1 Doomben Cup with Metal Bender and the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes with Pressday, as well as 4 group 1 wins in 2011 with Rangirangdoo taking out the George Ryder Stakes, Danleigh winning the 2011 Chipping Norton Stakes, My Kingdom of Fife winning the 2011 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Stand to Gain victorious in the 2011 Sydney Cup.