Theresa Bateup was just 15 years old when she quickly learned what she wanted to do for a living.
Arriving at the Australian Jockey Club at Randwick in late October 1994 to begin a week of work experience, the Cootamundra High School was required to spend some time in an industry of her choice, and it took her less than a second to know what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
Growing up on the family farm at Stockinbingal, Bateup first owned a palomino gelding called Buddy, and from there, the flame was fanned so to speak, and over the next couple of years, her mother Colleen Bateup became an operator at the Cootamundra TAB Agency.
Bateup then headed to Wollongong in 1996 to study, but she quickly found herself in a house near Kembla Grange and was soon enough riding trackwork for trainers like Debbie Walters, Diane Poidevin Laine and Kerry Parker.
As a trainer, Bateup’s first success arrived with Casiraghi, and most of her success to date has been with inexpensive horses, with the likes of Fleeting Stryke and Burden of Proof.
Other horses such as Jarrett, Monegal, and most recently, Crackalacka, which won the Moruya Cup earlier this year, have typified Bateup’s success.
While still based in Kembla Grange, and with her family moving on from Cootamundra, Bateup is yearning to making a winning return in the near future.
“I don’t get back too often, but I’d love to win a Cootamundra Cup,” she said.
For the moment, Bateup will look to continue her good form out of her Kembla Grange base, with a team of six set to contest the Sapphire Coast Turf Club meeting on Friday.
Bateup has landed multiple Sapphire Coast trainer’s premierships, and this year, she has prepared back-to-back winning doubles at the course, with Hope Uno and Skaifee winning on February 20, and Alan and Skaifee winning on March 18.
The popular trainer admitted that her horses went well on the track, but she couldn’t explain why.
“They all seem to go well there, but I have no idea why,” Bateup laughed.
“It’s not as if they go down there to work or anything, and they literally only go there to race, but it’s a nice big track, and I guess training here at Kembla, they go there and get plenty of space and have time to balance up and go through their gears.
“As far as the surface, it’s terrific and one of the best we race on.”
On Friday, Skaifee, which will be ridden by Molly Bourke, takes on the 1008 Benchmark 58 Handicap, and he will be looking to make it three wins from his last four starts.
“I think Skaifee will be my best one heading down,” Bateup said.
“That was the one race they didn’t get a huge number of nominations, but it is a race with a bit more depth than he is used to.
“Still, he is racing with great heart at the moment, and he goes down there with a real chance.
“Nick (Heywood) wanted to stick with him, but he won’t be back from suspension in time, and Molly Bourke will ride him, and he is racing in great form and looks a good chance.”
Bateup also has last-start winner Alan and stablemate Steve Steve Steve entered in the 1208m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
“He (Alan) has only won the three from 38, and we actually put him on the Inglis Online Sales recently, and we bought him back as he didn’t make the money we thought he should make,” Bateup said.
“There is nothing wrong with him, and we knew this race was coming up, because it’s been a bit hard to place him because of those Country Boosted races, and he has been looking for a (Benchmark) 58, and they tend to be those Country Boosted races, but there just so happened to be a race for him, so he gets a reprieve for the time being.”
The six-year-old is back up in class, and Bateup believes he is a chance on his best form.
“He’s won a (Benchmark) 58 before, and it was a nice confidence booster dropping him back to a 50, and stepping back up to 58, he drops in weight, and he will present nicely for the race.”
The remainder of Bateup’s chances on the day will be Galactic Rock in the 1608m Class One Handicap, and Inspired Dream and Macquarie Miss in the 1208m Maiden Handicap.
“In the Maiden, I’m not sure if both will run, but Inspired Dream is a chance, and we will see how she draws and how that all plays out, and Macquarie Miss will improve on her first-up run,” Bateup said.
“Galactic Rock finally drops back to Class One, because there have been none around for him over a suitable distance, not that he helps himself a great deal, but he does step up to a mile, and he’s in the right grade, so I’m expecting him to improve.”
Punters will no doubt be keen to follow an in-form Bateup on Friday, and it shapes to be a good day at the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, as it is their Tradies Race Day.
The club is organising free buses to and from the track so patrons can enjoy the eight-race TAB card of racing.