Victoria building bridges to China

Victoria will have a strong presence at the Yulong Breeders’ Cup in China this Saturday, September 3.

The meeting will be conducted under the auspices of Yulong Farm owner Zhang Yuesheng and there will a race sponsored by champion trainer Darren Weir.

Victorian breeder Gary O’Meara, who operates Miranda Park at Hesket, will also attend as an interpreter and to represent his own clients at the meeting south-west of Beijing in Shanxi Province.

O’Meara (pictured at right with Spendthrift’s Garry Cuddy) is in the unique position of being a born-and-bred horseman and being fluent in Mandarin.

“I guess it’s an eclectic use of tasks,” he admitted.  “My uncles were bush trainers around Wagga and we’ve been based in the Macedon Ranges for 40 years.  And I have taught Chinese for many years.”

O’Meara has already interpreted for Mr Zhang in Australia and China.  “It’s all about translating ideas – not words,” he explained.  “The formal meaning of Chinese words do not necessarily translate correctly into English.

“There can be misunderstandings all the time if you’re not careful.  We were discussing a training track with an uphill climb recently and the Chinese thought we were talking about the incline on a walking machine.

“Mr Zhang has invested heavily in Victoria and Darren was keen to get involved when I mentioned the Breeders’ Cup meeting in China.”

O’Meara is also a keen supporter of Spendthrift Farm and its stallions Warrior’s Reward, Jimmy Creed and Hampton Court since they set-up shop at nearby Romsey.

“We have 60 mares, either our own or clients, and 40 will be covered at Spendthrift this season,” he said.  “Their ‘Breed Secure’ program is attractive for breeders because it protects our investment.”

Gary and his wife Helen farm on 200 acres at Miranda Park and he’s also on the committee of the Kyneton Racing Club.  “We had stallions back in the 1980s like English Group 1 colt Warmington.  He was initially based with Lee Freedman’s father Tony in NSW but nowadays we’re solely a broodmare farm.”

O’Meara and Weir will fly out for the Yulong Breeders’ Cup on Thursday.  “It’s very important for Victoria to get in on the ground-floor in China,” O’Meara said.  “They are sparing no expense developing their racing and breeding industries.”

And having O’Meara’s knowledge of Mandarin will give Victoria the inside run building those relationships in China.