Trainer Stephen Brown claims his own piece of Territory in the south as his Flemington team expands to 28

Stephen Brown only has to glance around his team of 28 horses at Flemington to know he’s made good progress in the two years since he arrived from the Northern Territory.

Brown, Darwin’s leading trainer, had only a handful of horses in Melbourne then, but he has built on the success of Sea Lord, Eight Bills, Canali and Kievann.

Now, he is hoping to make a big impact over summer, beginning with four runners at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

He has The Thief and Canali in the 1000m Tony Beddison Cup, Kerthos in the 1600m Wedrive.com.au Handicap and Bishop’s Castle in the 1200m McMahons Dairy Handicap.

Brown still has his Darwin stables, where a team of 15 horses is looked after by his daughter, Alana, and her boyfriend, Chris Nash, but his emphasis is firmly on becoming successful in Melbourne.

He made his mark on the spring carnival with nine-year-old gelding Eight Bills winning over 1000m at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day.

“I was proud of that as he had struggled for a little bit after coming back after winning the Palmerston,” Brown said.

“It’s a big effort for a nine-year-old to win first up.

“The two years here has been all right, but everyone needs a good horse.”

Late last month, Brown purchased a three-year-old colt called Yenhaab for $250,000 at the Tried Racehorse Sale at Newmarket.

He said the colt had form around horses who had been placed behind Cox Plate winner, Adelaide.

“I wasn’t hellbent on buying one but he had the nice form,” Brown said.

He said Yenhaab would ­enter quarantine in Australia on December 3 and come out on December 20 and would be gelded.

Brown said he was setting The Thief for The Standish Handicap at Flemington on January 1.

The Thief has returned to his stables after having two runs in Darwin, his most recent an eighth in the Palmerston Sprint behind Eight Bills.

Brown said the horse was at the end of his preparation when he competed in Darwin.

“He went well in a jumpout recently. I think he’s going to be a good winning chance,” he said.

Brown is also happy with Bishop’s Castle, who has had three starts for him for two wins and a second first-up at Moonee Valley last start

“I only ran him at Moonee Valley because of his weight of 52kg last start,” he said.

“He probably needed the run. I’m keen to get him to Flemington but I think he’ll still run well.”

Brown has Eight Bills set for the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield on Boxing Day.

“I haven’t had a lot of success with younger horses ... but I’d like to get that chance in time to come,” Brown said.


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