Success is in Russell's blood
RACING: In the horse racing industry, pedigrees and bloodlines are all important.
Which in the racing game often evokes the term – “it’s in his blood”.
So it is with the Gold Coast’s Chris Russell, 27, a bloodstock consultant with the Magic Millions Sales Company.
Chances are, if like so many Central Queenslanders, you are bound for the Magic Millions racing and yearling sales carnival over the next few days, you’ll spot Chris spotting!
I’ll catalogue that soon.
The name Russell conjures wonderful memories of the champion Monto jockey Ken Russell who tragically lost his life aged 42 in a race fall at Rosehill, Sydney on October 10, 1993. Ken was one of Central Queensland racing’s most cherished sons, graduating the ranks from his first race win as an amateur on Frosty Val at Banana on June 24, 1972 to attain world class riding acclaim.
In a whirlwind career after winning the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s jockeys’ premiership in the 1977/78 season with 69 wins, Ken conquered the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney racing.
Ken Russell followed in the footsteps of his dad Gordon, a former successful jockey and later horse trainer.
Therefore it is not surprising that Ken Russell’s son Chris has found his niche in life in another branch of the racing industry.
Chris is the second of three children of Ken and Carol Russell but unlike sister Sara, 24, and older brother Daniel, 30, an engineer with BHP, his studies have been of horses and pedigrees.
Keen eyed and quick of tongue, Chris is being groomed by Magic Millions as an auctioneer while serving full time in the company’s bloodstock department.
At MM yearling sales throughout Australia he works as either a “spotter” (a bid taker) or on occasions as an auctioneer.
“I’m really enjoying the position with Magic Millions. It is very interesting work as I get to do a lot of stud inspections in the Hunter Valley and around Adelaide of the weanlings and yearlings being chosen for the sale’s catalogue. I’m learning so much in that regards working in the paddocks and studs with the likes of Jim Brown and Tony Williams”, Chris said.
While fine tuning his spiel, Chris admits his passion for auctioneering isn’t the easiest of job choices. “I‘ve done a little bit of auctioneering at the MM monthly sales in Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast. Steve Davis, the MM New Zealand auctioneer who sells in Australia, is probably the benchmark. Everyone of the auctioning team, particularly David Chester has been so helpful and encouraging to me. They all have their own styles and there is so much to learn from them”, Chris said.
Chris himself has done his homework as before joining MM he said he worked for two years as manager for the Gold Coast’s Heinrich Racing.
This provided him with first hand knowledge of the intricacies associated with the operation of a large scale racing and bloodstock operation.
Naturally, a team player and very loyally flying the MM blue and gold flag wishing all owners luck in tomorrow’s $2 Million MM Classic (1200m), chances are his sentimental favourite will be former boss Gillian Heinrich’s Military Rose in the pink and black livery.
After all from a family background nurtured on old fashioned country loyalty, Chris Russell has taken a feather out of his father’s cap.