“His ability to cure crock gallopers, rejuvenate dispirited horses, ooze the best from his small team, and repeatedly produce winners, remains a constant source of intrigue” (Rod Nicholson)
After launching his training career in Queensland, Brian Mayfield-Smith relocated to Sydney in 1976, and two years later was appointed private trainer to leading owners, Stan and Millie Fox, at their Nebo Lodge, Rosehill. He remained in this position for six years, training over 300 winners In 1984 Nebo Lodge was sold to a group led by Robert Lapointe and Robert Sangster, and Mayfield-Smith was appointed head trainer of the enterprise.
At the end of the 1985-86 season the unthinkable had happened: Mayfield-Smith, with 99 winners, dislodged Tommy Smith as Sydney’s premier metropolitan trainer, a title Smith had held for 33 consecutive years.
Mayfield-Smith won two more training premierships, in 1986-87 with 98 ½ winners, and in 1987-88 with 86 winners. Among his 29 Group 1 victories during his Sydney years were two Sydney Cups with Late Show in 1985 and Marooned in 1986, the 1987 Golden Slipper with Marauding, the 1986 Thousand Guineas and 1987 Doncaster Handicap with Magic Flute, and the 1986 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes with Diamond Shower.
In 1995 Mayfield-Smith departed the Sydney racing scene to work in the field of animal conservation and wildlife protection in Africa. On his return to Australia two years later he opened new stables at Flemington, a boutique operation catering for some 25 horses.
Results were again outstanding, bringing him a further ten Group 1 victories with horses such as Oliver Twist, Rubitano and Sudurka. The stable consistently maintained one of the highest winning strike rates in Australia; in 2001-02 it was an amazing 27.8%. Mayfield-Smith retired from training in 2009.
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