Canberra Trainer Joe Ible — Focus On Quality

The Canberra thoroughbred training complex is home to a crop of exciting young trainers and none more so that Joe Ible.

Ible (27) began his training career in Moruya and 18 months ago took the decision to move to Canberra — following in the footsteps of fellow trainer Luke Pepper.  

“I saw the success that Luke had and it seemed a logical next step,” Ible says. “It’s been fantastic.

“The facilities in Canberra are great and I have had an influx of new clients and grown the stable numbers. So it’s been a very good move for me.”

Ible’s father Darrell is a respected bloodstock agent and is assisting his son’s career.

“My father was a trainer when I was young so I have always been around horses and I went to university to study equine science at Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga.

“In my holidays from university I worked at various stables and farms and spent time at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand — and with trainers Gai Waterhouse, Bede Murray and Philip Stokes, learning as much as I could before setting up a stable of my own.

“It was most instructive to observe the different training philosophies between, for example, Gai and Phillip, and the different way they prepare a horse. In fact, they are almost polar opposites, yet in their own way are able to achieve outstanding results.

“Phillip generally utilises shorter and easier work and is soft on a horse and that works especially well for fillies and mares. Where Gay tends to have her horses really fit and strong and that’s how they are able to jump to the front and keep hitting the line.”

Ible says he’s evolved his own training pattern and has a very different style to most trainers.

“I tend to give them very light work and a lot of swimming — to take it easy on a horse and give them plenty of time.

“It’s a method that works across all types of horses and it helps with the longevity of the horse and while this has evolved since I started training and I am very happy where it’s at now.”

In terms of his stable, Ible says he’s decided to keep the number of horses in work to 10-15 for now and expand when the quality of horse warrants it.  

“I don’t want to be the biggest trainer; I just want to have a quality stable with nice young horses coming through.

“The majority of my stock are unraced at the moment — three that are racing (Major Sharp, Dramatico and Essence Prevails), with the majority yearlings, two year olds and three year olds.

“And that’s the way I chose to develop the stable instead of going with tried horses.

“I’m using my father’s expertise in bloodstock to source quality horses and to develop the stable that way.”

“This season I have only had a handful of runners but have kept the stable’s strike rate up (an impressive 19%) and we are competitive every time we go to the races.

“It’s no good for the client to just send a horse around. They’ve got to be winning or going very close each time they go to the races.”

In terms of the future, Ible says he has a “lovely” Pins three-year-old called Bella Amante and she’ll race towards the end of the month probably at Moruya.

“She’ll trial and Canberra next week and is showing a lot of promise.

“I also have a Tavistock two-year-old who is also showing a lot of promise. I purchased her last year in New Zealand and I went back this year and bought the three quarter sister who is also by Tavistock.

“She’ll come to Australia later this month.”

Ible says his early years as a trainer in Moruya were tough but formative and he’s grateful for the support and encouragement of a core group of clients who have re-invested and for his father’s expertise and the client base he brings.

“The next six to nine months is when it all happens. I am really looking forward to getting all these young ones to the track to see what we’ve got.”