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Kris Lees - Prime trainer since 2006 - NSW

Kris Lees

Kris Lees has been Prime Thoroughbreds NSW trainer since December 2005. Kris is now established as one of Australia's very best young trainers. Kris had a great season in 2009/10 season finishing 4th on the NSW Trainer's Premiership behind the powerful Waterhouse, Waller and Snowden stables. This is a remarkable effort for a trainer that had been only out on his own for six years. He had another very good season in the 2012/13 season finishing 9th on the National Trainer's Premiership. His good work has continued into the new season with Krisâs horses consistently winning races.

In only his first year as a trainer Kris won the Gosford, Wyong and Scone training premierships. In the following season, he trained two Group 1 winners in County Tyrone and Vitesse Dane. Kris won his third Group 1 race when County Tyrone won the Sydney Cup and added to this tally with Samantha Miss winning the AJC Champagne Stakes, Flight Stakes and VRC Oaks.

Kris received six horses from Prime Thoroughbreds on Bill Mitchell's retirement. He went on to win races with five of these including wins at Randwick, Canterbury and Warwick Farm. The Prime team was flying when Equine Influenza struck in August 2007 and closed down our NSW operation until February 2008. The strong team we had established was decimated but has bounced back.

Overall Kris has done an excellent job for us. His winners for Prime Thoroughbreds include Savoureux, Terra Amata, Unique, Sanosuke, Hidden Wonder, Rose Of Scotland, Under Command, Pitt Street, Funny As, Makossa, Ohmygod, Captain Chaos, Admiral's Cup, Sweet Talkin Woman, Valize, Magnifique Lass, El Tegra, Izacat, Unser, Miss Bulawayo, Albert's Image, Gold Circles, Namsarai, Our Sphinx, Ohmygod and Tuqiri.

Kris Lees offers us a high class metropolitan trainer at an affordable price.

Correct as at 19 February 2015.

John Thompson - Prime trainer since 2012 - NSW and Queensland

John Thompson

John Thompson was born to be a horse trainer. John is a 4th generation trainer and is the second son of Sydney premiership winning trainer Vic Thompson Jnr. John has been around horses all of his life and has had the best grounding a young trainer could hope for as he branches out on his own after four years as the head trainer for Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm Racing Stable.

John commenced working for his father, Vic, when he was the head trainer for the Ingham families Crown Lodge and then accepted the position as Sydney foreman for Bill Mitchell where he did a great job for four years. The best horses in the stable at this time were Dignity Dancer, Kenwood Melody, Snippet's Lass and Akhenaton. John was also very important in the formative years as Prime Thoroughbreds started to grow. His advice to Joe O'Neill was invaluable and always taken into account when we were placing our horses or managing their careers.

When Bill Mitchell closed his Randwick Stable down, John took up the position as head foreman for the powerful Bart Cummings' Randwick Stable. He stayed in that position for eight years and, from speaking to Bart, know that John was a highly regarded member of his team and sorely missed when he left.

Previously he was head trainer at Patinack Farm. There is no doubt this provided John with many challenges but in his quite but competent style which is his way John navigated around the problems and did a remarkable job for Nathan Tinkler.

John has really established his reputation during this four year period where he has successfully guided the careers of such outstanding gallopers at Nechita, Longport, Peron, Tremec, Pane In The Glass and Sookie.

We are thrilled to be able to support John and look forward to him training many winners for us in the years ahead.

John has done an excellent job for us including Makeadane and The Deestructor winning for us.

Correct as at 19 February 2015.

Tony Gollan - Prime trainer since 2011 - Queensland

Tony Gollan

We had been watching Tony Gollan develop as a trainer for quite some time and had decided to wait until the 'right' trainer was identified before restating our business in Queensland. We sent Tony, Whispering Death which hadn't been racing up to expectations in Victoria. Tony did a very good job with him winning two races.

Tony trains from a state of the stable complex at Eagle Farm where he has thirty boxes. He also has a private complex about ten minutes from Clifford Park near Toowoomba which compliments the metropolitan base.

Tony was a very talented Rugby League player and played Under 19 representative football for Queensland. Rather than pursue a career in that sport he decided to concentrate on being a trainer and he has done a terrific job in a short period of time. During 2015, he was 4th on the Queensland Trainer's Premiership which is a great effort for a Queensland based trainer in just his second season based in Brisbane.

He has had some very good gallopers on his books including Spirit Of Boom, Temple Of Boom and Listen Son. Tony has travelled interstate and had good success in Melbourne during the Spring Carnival and won his first Group 1 with Temple Of Boom in the Galaxy at Randwick.

We decided to send Tony the good sprinter/miler Too Many Reds for him to be ready to start racing at the start of the 2012/13 season in Brisbane. He won three Saturday metropolitan races from four starts in Brisbane and was beaten in the closest of finishes at Randwick in the Listed Lightning Handicap in course record time.

Tony's results for us in 2014 have been exceptional with Hijack Hussy's win at Flemington on Cup Day being the highlight. Other good performances include metropolitan wins by Faith'N'Courage and a promising start to the career of Annaman.

He offers a great alternative for our older horses that may be just off the pace in Sydney and Melbourne. Tony is still only a young man and we feel he could be a real star in the making. Joe O'Neill really enjoys working with him and find his approach both refreshing and positive.

Correct as at 19 February 2015.

Patrick Payne - Prime trainer since 2011 - Victoria. Image © Bradley Photographers - Used with permission

Patrick Payne

Patrick Payne was always destined to be a success in the racing industry. He is the eldest member of the famous Payne family which hails from Ballarat in Victoria. He burst on the scene when he rode Soho Square in win the AJC Doncaster Handicap as an apprentice in 1992. He started riding at 14 and was the youngest rider ever to out ride his apprentice's allowance. He was closely associated with Northerly and Tie The Knot.

Patrick Payne has a long family involvement with horse racing and was granted a trainer's license in 2008. He has been quietly building a strong team out at Plumpton in Melbourne's west.

A regular at the major yearling and Ready to Run sales throughout Australasia, Patrick has had good success with his younger horses and is always on the lookout for a suitable tried horses.

Patrick takes a hand on approach to training and is known for his patience.

We first came across Patrick Payne when he started riding for us in Melbourne in the 2000's. Patrick was a superb rider possessed with a great feel for the horses under him. He rode with great success overseas and was at the very top of his game when he decided to retire due to continuing issues with his weight.

Not many jockeys make a success as a trainer but Patrick has certainly done that since he commenced training in 2008.

He has trained some very good horses with his best wins being with Laura's Charm (Sunline Stakes Winner), Capecover (Adelaide and Mornington Cups), Kerdem (Queensland Cup), Danaupain Starlet (South Australian Oaks), Princess Marissa (CS Hayes Memorial Stakes), Fieldmaster (Devonport Cup), Baron Douro, Rebel Truce, Hot Lover, Turner Bayou, and Cellarmaster.

Patrick trains from a 320 acres property at Plumpton on the outskirts of Melbourne. He has a 2400m dirt track, 2400m grass track and an 800m straight incline track.

Patrick has done a great job for Prime Thoroughbreds guiding the careers of the highly talented sprinter, Husson Eagle and the promising 2yo metropolitan winner Atalanta Miss.

As at 19 February 2015.

Adam Trinder - Prime trainer since 2018 - Tasmania

Adam Trinder

Adam Trinder comes to Prime with strong endorsement from Patrick Payne together with a recommendation from Tasmanian Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Goggin - himself a long time trainer for Prime Thoroughbreds. Adam takes the place of Stuart Gandy, who has been appointed the private trainer of the GeeGees stable of Paul and Elizabeth Geard.

Adam has been training since 2010 and has 290 winners and 13 stakes winners. His major wins include Tatts Stakes, Thomas Lyons x2, George Adams, Vamos Stakes, Magic Millions 3yo, 3yo Cup x2, Hobart Guineas 3yo, Tasmanian Guineas 3yo, Tasmanian Derby 3yo and 3yo Trophy.

Adam trains out of Devonport and has an all weather track, beach gallop and a 1600m grass gallop at his disposal. He also has a treadmill on his property.

He regularly takes his horses to Longford and Launceston to gallop them on the grass tracks.

The Hobart track is to be rebuilt after the 2019 Hobart Cup. This will leave the trainers in the south of the state without a grass track to gallop their horses on for about 12 months. It is therefore an opportune time to have the Prime horses trained in Devonport.

I'm thrilled to have Adam, a high class trainer, take over as our Tasmanian trainer from Stuart Gandy. Stuart and his team have done a sterling job for us and I thank them for their efforts.

Correct as at 6 August 2018.

Our Long Sali - February 2018 - Image © Used with permission.

The Client

I'm a former Prime horse who appreciated my great Prime Trainer.

I'm Our Long Sali.

Zizzis - March 2018 - Image © Sharon Lee Chapman. Used with permission.

The Client

I'm another retiree who loved being a part of Prime.

I'm Zizzis.


Prime Trainers


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Years Established

Why Prime and these trainers?


Established in 1997.

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The lifetime in racing of founder and Managing Director, Joe O'Neill.

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Joe O'Neill holds AFS Licence Number 226395 and has done so since 2003. So you know that you are dealing with a licensed person who can carry on a financial services business for horse racing schemes.

You can download the AFS licence by clicking here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

All Prime trainers are chosen after careful scrutiny and recommendations. There have been changes over the years for many varied reasons. Each trainer's performance is regularly assessed to ensure the high standards and reputation of Prime Thoroughbreds is maintained at all times. This is not negotiable.

The Prime model is that communications with the trainers are coordinated through the Prime office. This avoids the situation of the trainers being bombarded by clients when a centralised approach has stood the test of time.

Stable visits are regular and are announced through the MiStable communication system. It is not possible for clients to visit a stable outside these times.

Prime operates a centralised billing system that handles both income (winnings less withholdings) and payments to the trainers and other suppliers. This proven method ensures trainers are paid on time and avoids them having to chase payments from up to twenty owners per horse. The system is proven.

You can find out more on the accounting system by clicking here.