Ladies and gentleman, this is not a story about a girl name Dorothy or her dog name Toto. Their is no Tin Man, no Scarecrow or no Cowardly Lion. This interview is about a man who is considered a champion and a legend of TK. He founded his stable 06th Jan 2008, four months after the birth of Track King. His first World Cup win came on the 29th Aug 2009 which was the BBGsite.com Gamers Cup, a claim to fame where he is the only stable to have ever won this cup existence. He is a winner of 15 World Cups, 26 Regional Cups, and a winner of many league titles. This oldie but goodie stable consistently produce and train some of the best horses in the biz.
Without further ado, lets give a TK Nuts warm welcome to a man that I like to call the “Wizard,” one of the pioneers of Track King, the one and only New Scotland Yard stable;
Q – How did you find Track King?
- Like a dozen or so players here I was introduced by a player from an online football management game called In Off The Post.
Q – Were you hooked from day 1?
Absolutely. The game offered depth that I hadn’t found elsewhere and as a new game in only its second or third season I liked the fact I could get into something I believed would be successful from effectively day one.
Q – Any particular reason you named your stable New Scotland Yard?
- Not really, It was a simple play on the word Yard.
Q – Who helped you initially?
- In the beginning it was mostly trial and error. There wasn’t the help files and experienced player base there is now.
Q – Biggest influence on you early on stable that you looked up to?
I’m not sure there were any players to look up to back then, we were all learning, there were some established horses for sure but I’m not sure how influential the managers were in respect to that success.
Q – Who was your first winner and describe the moment as you recall it?
Nubias Dapple, she was a short running mare that did well for me. A starter horse.
Q – You have any interest in real life horse racing?
Sure, have always taken an interest in horse racing. My dad used to regularly take me to the races, we’d sometimes go on racing holidays and take in 4 or 5 meetings in a week. He sounds like a degenerate gambler from that but it was more the racing experience and not the gambling for him, we’d only have a couple of pounds on each race and would always leave with a smile.
Q – Favourite race/cup win?
- I like the Sprinters Shield/Magic Mile weekend. Have managed a few good wins my favorite probably being the first Sprinters Shield.
Q – How do you plan a race, do you weigh up the opposition or run your own race?
- I plan only in terms of build up, making sure not to overwork the horse in the weeks prior to a cup run. I should plan more instructions but as is my attitude in life I generally wing it.
Q – Do you get nervous before a cup final?
- Nervous might be too strong but I definitely still feel something.
HORSES – PRESENT AND PAST
Q – Who is the best horse you have ever trained?
One More Alcatraz, a far better horse than the cup record shows. I had tried to win the Open for a few seasons without ever getting close and then One More Alcatraz came along and beat a dominant Megan Fox in the final.
Q – You have an amazing number of good horses in your stables right now, it would be hard to choose a favorite among them I guess?
Favorite would probably be Viking Power. As the top 2 year old when born he should have won more than the two trophies on the shelf had it not been for bad instructions by me.
Q – Horses that left the biggest impact on you outside your barn?
- Dorothy, Chilla Dia Mante, Pockets, all from the early days.
Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?
- Anything Manor Park Stud touches is gold, anything from his stable.
Q. The horse in TK past/present that resembles your character?
I’m not sure, I’m generally fairly laid back which is not a trait you’d find in a successful horse so it be some 60 rated stallion that generally took it easy, had a laugh and bothered a few saucy mares along the way.
Q – What are some of the goals you have?
- Short term –Ive neglected young horses for a few seasons now with the aim of bringing through 2 or 3 at once, hopefully this season if the breeding goes well.
- Long term – Another Open would be nice.
Q – Is there anything you would like to share to stables who would like to try training good younger horses especially those 2 to 3 year old ones?
I’m a big advocate of quality over quantity. Buy the best 2 yr old you can and train hard. People still think over-training exists. I’m sure it doesn’t. You may not be able to race very often with a 10-12 hour training regime but that’s the price you pay to win cups. Utilize the training track to keep XP growing.
Q – Any tips – hidden secrets?
I’m not sure there are any secrets per se. You have the basics of making sure they aren’t related, matching body stats and using a tested stud etc but even then I think luck plays a huge part.
Q – How do you plan your matings?
I used to plan, but I cant claim to have been very successful so now I just use my highest rated enabled stud and knock up a selection of brood mares bought solely for breeding purposes.
Q – What are you looking for in a stud?
- A high rating, 80+, enabled genes and a record of decent foals.
Q – Has the game improved?
- The game was great from day one, most changes have been for the better.
Q – If you had to name the most important things or features in the game that have kept your interest here in Track King, what would those things or features be? And, why?
Its a game that I don’t think people will ever really solve and I like that. You think you’ve learned something and then something happens and you question everything you thought you knew.
Q – Stables on Track King that you have been impressed by?
- Green Cat in the early days and more recently Manor Park Stud. His trophy shelf is disgusting!
Q – Old stables that you miss or you wish was still playing?
- I always liked sticking it to Cerberus. The Doc was a character I always got on well with as well.
Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?
Manor Park Stud. I used to console myself with the fact that to be this good at the game he must have no social life and live a lonely unhappy existence forever analyzing the RAT. That’s probably not the case though, hes probably crushing life as well. In fact from the IM conversations Ive had with him I know he’s a good bloke.
Q – Name three things you would like to see changed on Track King?
- If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The changes to the look of the game will be nice, maybe an update to Trackvision.
Q – What irks you the most in this game?
- I’m not easily irked to be fair.
Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?
- The hours of my life that would be eaten up. If id put those hours into something more productive I could be a world champion at something by now.
Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?
- Breeding. I think HB is having us all on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the breeding code was 100% random ha.
Q – What motivates you to play this game day in and day out?
- The fact that Ive invested so many hours already. What a waste to quit now.
Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?
- I haven’t really had much advice. I’m someone who prefers to make their own mistakes and learn from them.
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize that they are making?
People play the game differently and that’s fine. For me the ultimate goal is always world cups, brood mares aside, I simply don’t train a horse that I don’t think can win one. I don’t understand established players that have a stable full of average horses on average training hours. Seems like a quest for mediocrity. However as I say, people have different goals.
Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
- Nothing surprising really. I play a lot of poker to a reasonable level, you’ll find me either at the casino or on the online tables most days.
Q – If you had the opportunity to sit down and have dinner with anyone on Track King, who would your dinner TK party guests be and why?
- Ive known Big-B for over 15 years but wouldn’t know him if he walked past me in the street. I’d go for a curry and a few beers with him.
Thank you Oz for granting us an exclusive and spending some time with us in Track Nuts, and all the best for the rest of the season.