Claire Bird is best remembered as the strapper of almighty mare Sunline but thesedays she’s busier than ever in her role as racing manager for Gerry Harvey.
Now sole owner of the Magic Millions, Harvey has expanded his racing operations off-shore and Bird was in Singapore on a fact-finding tour last week.
Harvey’s first foray into Singapore was a successful one. He sent veteran gelding Parfumier up there late last year and the old boy was a $101 long-shot winner at Kranji last month.
Parfumier (Belong To Me) had won 7 races in Australia and was runner-up to Palacio De Cristal in the 2009 G2 AJC Villiers Stakes at Randwick. He is a half-brother to 2003 Golden Slipper winner 2000 Polar Success.
After Sunline retired, Bird stayed with Trevor and Stephen McKee for six months before moving to Melbourne to work for the Racing Victoria and TVN.
Bird’s present job came about after she visited her sister Helen who worked for Harvey. “He saw me and said, ‘You’re the Sunline girl. Come and see me about a job’. Now I’m managing 150 racehorses that he has in work at any one time.”
Based at Harvey’s Sydney headquarters, Bird has an office just across from the boss. “If any of staff can’t locate him, they come to my office because he’s usually there watching the races.
“We have a big pool of horses and, if we can find the right ones, I’m sure we will be expanding our interests in Singapore.”