It was a mixed weekend for caddy Sam Pinfold, who carries the bag for superstar golfer Cameron Smith, with the pair’s victory in the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland on Sunday night making up for the disappointment of his horse finishing down the field at the Gold Coast.
Pinfold is best known for his association with the reigning British Open champion but his other passion is racing, and whilst he is by no means a leviathan owner he does have small shares in three horses trained by Kelly Shweida.
Unfortunately his day job – carrying Smith’s clubs and dispensing the occasional words of wisdom to the world number three – prevented Pinfold from making the trip to see Slow Hands line up in Saturday’s Benchmark 80 Handicap (1700m) at the Gold Coast.
Smith certainly had a better day on the fairways than Slow Hands did at the racetrack, with the 8YO finishing last of 10 runners. But win, lose or draw, racehorse ownership serves as a counterbalance to Pinfold’s hectic life on the globetrotting golf circuit.
“None of the horses have been superstars but ownership is still great fun,” said Pinfold, who worked at Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast before deciding to pursue a career as a professional caddy.
“I went to visit Kelly [Schweida] at Eagle Farm last week, he’s got a great set-up so it was really nice to take a look around the stables and see the horses.
“The old warhorse Slow Hands has certainly given us some really good times and has had a few wins down the years.”
Whilst Slow Hands, a veteran of 55 starts who was bred by Gerry Harvey, might be in the twilight of his career, another of Pinfold’s horses with Shweida is just starting out on his racing journey.
Pinfold was steered into 2YO colt Boovey by one of Smith’s friends, fellow racing enthusiast Jason McDonald. The pair will be hoping the presence in the ownership group of Noel and Maria Greenhalgh – who celebrated the biggest win of their lives when Gold Trip took out this year’s Melbourne Cup – can prove a lucky omen for Boovey.
Pinfold also has a small interest in Enunciation, who is still a maiden but came agonisingly close to breaking through at her two most recent starts. With shares in two other horses trained in his native New Zealand, the 38-year-old is reliant on streaming services and a secure WiFi connection to follow his gallopers from the other side of the world.
“With all the travelling I obviously don’t get to go to the races as often as I’d like, but it’s good to have an interest and depending on the time difference I try to watch them race when I can,” said Pinfold.
“It’s important to have interests outside golf and racing has been a passion of mine for a long time. Hopefully I can get a good horse but like most owners, I’m mainly in it for enjoyment.”