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It takes a village to win a race!

Connections of Cath's Village after winning the Cranbourne Hyundai F&M BM70 Handicap at Cranbourne Racecourse on May 10, 2019 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

They say it takes a village to raise a child and in the case of Kevin Corsten’s handy galloper Cath’s Village – there are a village of owners involved.

The large group of owners, many first-timers, have come together to support Cath, a mother, partner, daughter, friend and college who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

And the racehorse, Cath’s Village has certainly provided all connections with the right medicine – bringing a smile to their face, a bit of joy and a much-needed distraction for everyone involved.  

Cath’s Village ridden by Beau Mertens wins the Cranbourne Hyundai F&M BM70 Handicap at Cranbourne Racecourse on May 10, 2019 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

Having now won three starts since joining Kevin Corsten’s stable, the galloper has relished the beachside training environment and has become a good little earner.

“I have always been involved in horses all my life, through my Dad Leon and brother Troy, but I have been happy to play a role in the background.”

“However, when the opportunity came up to stay and build a set up on the Mornington Peninsula, where my family and I are now happily settled, it was too good to refuse.”

Having experience in thoroughbred property design and functional and safe stable construction, Kevin has built the Pine Lodge facility from a blank canvas. Prioritising horse health and safety in mind, he has been able to retain a relaxing environment, close to nature where the horses thrive.

“It is important that the horses are happy in their environment and took the horses temperament into account when we designed the 40 stables, day yards, post and rail fencing, spelling paddocks and daily exercise facilities.”

“We are lucky to be so close to Balnarring Beach, so we can use the traditional benefits of salt water for recovery, the firm sand to gallop and the soft sand for conditioning. It’s the perfect training aid.”

And with all of Victorian thrilled to see the recent rain, the rain has come at a perfect time for Corstens, as Cath’s Village loves the wet.

“She handles a heavy track very well, and convenient to where we are located, she loves Cranbourne. It’s nice not to have to travel too far.”

“She loves her day to day routine and enjoys the beach environment. She always looks happy and enjoys being in training. She has pulled up extremely well and was pretty fresh having trot and canter at the beach this morning.”

“We will look at taking her back to Cranbourne for another benchmark 70 for fillies and mares in about two weeks and then if successful – fingers crossed, we may head to town. That would be exciting for everyone, especially Cath,” Corsten’s said.

“That would certainly be a thrill for all the owners involved, and it’s great to be promoting MND to the wider community. Jason Richardson is also involved as an owner and doing his bit to promote the cause. She will be a nice broodmare now, and once she retires from racing; a portion of the proceeds will go to help Cath with her medical expenses, her family and the MND cause.”

The son of former resident stallion Master Of Design, Cath’s Village was purchased from the Swettenham Stud draft of the 2016 Inglis Premier sales for $65,000 for Brad Spicer and his syndication company, Spicer Thoroughbreds.

Spicer has enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Corsten’s family, having worked as their racing manager for a number of years.

“I have known Brad since he had his first horse, and he has always been close with Troy and dad. When Cath’s Village was looking for a new trainer, I fitted the bill and it’s great to be racing a horse together in partnership,” Kevin Corstens’ said.

“All of Brad’s horses are spelled with Sherah Sullivan at Noorilim Park, who do a fantastic job, and they come back in great condition ready to perform.”

Kevin Corstens is currently enjoying a purple patch of form with 16 winners for the season, at almost 30% winners to runners, including his first ever double at Cranbourne on Friday night with All Too Handy joining Cath’s Village in the winner’s circle.

“The success this season is a reflection of a few things, but the real key is the team of staff I’ve got at home. I’ve got a great group of kids that are really passionate about the horses and also love their racing.”

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