Day in the Life of Lindsay Murphy

Working with the Australian Turf Club for 41 years, Lindsay Murphy has done a bit of everything at the
track. Today, he is the Australian Turf Club’s Racecourse Manager and sat down with us to talk about his
role, how he become racecourse manager and what he recommends for those getting into the sport.

As I grew up I had always very much enjoyed horse racing and was just very fortunate that a position
became available at Sydney Turf Club and I was able to get that position when I was 21. I started my
career in the racing office, but the Racecourse Manager at that time was looking for someone to assist
him out on the tracks and felt I would be suitable. It seemed like a great opportunity so I took it up.

Today I am the Racecourse Manager of the Australian Turf Club’s four racecourses. I am responsible for
the preparation and upkeep of the all the tracks for racing and training as well as being responsible for
all the gardens and surrounds on the racecourses.

A normal day when we aren’t racing includes regular inspections of the entire facility to ensure all jobs
that need to be done are well planned for. This includes planning all the maintenance requirements for
the grass tracks and the training tracks as in addition to racing we have horses training on our tracks
regularly. Making sure they are safe and in good condition for both training and racing is extremely
important.

A race day starts with a 5.30 a.m. inspection of the track to rate the surface as to what the hardness or
softness (the going) of the track will be for that day’s racing. This information is then relayed to all
participants of that day’s racing through various forms of media.

Inspections are then carried out of the racecourse in general to ensure everything is ready for the
meeting. During the race meeting it is just a matter of overseeing that everything is running safely and
smoothly.

The hardest part of my job isn’t dealing with any people or equine-related issues, it’s Mother Nature. An
important part of my job is to have the racing and training tracks in as good of condition as possible and
it isn’t unusual to have to battle the elements when doing that job.

However, I also feel major satisfaction when I have everything prepared for a successful day of racing.
That and just being involved in the industry are my two favourite parts of my job.

If you’re looking at getting into the industry, I recommend it. The diverse and dynamic nature of the
horse racing industry make it a great career option. If you’re eyeing a racecourse manager job, take the
first opportunity you can to get a starting role at a racecourse and then be prepared to continue to learn
and absorb information. If you show that you’re committed and willing to learn, possibilities will always
arise.