WHILE it may not have been the most successful hobby, the excitement of horse racing has kept David Cook in the industry for more than 25 years.
It was this passion for racing and his hardworking attitude that led the Tooradin resident to join the Cranbourne Turf Club Committee about 18 months ago.
“I like to get involved in local community groups that I have a keen interest in,” he said.
“I thought I could bring some of my enthusiasm and knowledge of horse racing to the turf club and help carry it into the exciting future.
“I’ve certainly enjoyed watching the club develop into a premier country racing facility.”
The love of racing started about 25 years ago when David, widely known as Cookie, became involved in a horse named Niralee with a few boys from the Skye Cricket Club.
Trained by Lenny Marshall and ridden by Grant Marshall, Niralee had just one win in its short career.
However this was all it took to spark a keen interest in the horse racing industry for Mr Cook.
Since then he has been a part-owner in more than 10 horses.
Following Niralee was his two most successful thoroughbreds to date, Heavens Way, trained by Lenny Marshall, and Avalon King, trained by Kevin Harrison, who each brought home a couple of wins.
After he had no racing success with a filly named Dalchase, Mr Cook decided to use her for breeding.
From her he bred four horses sired by Rubiton.
Mr Cook said none of these had been very successful, with only a few wins and placings between them.
Currently he part-owns two horses with Leo Kelly – Chase The Gold, sired by Golden Snake and Dalsert, sired by Desert King.
He is also part of a syndicate, which he organised, with a horse named Yamacoona.
“I’ve certainly spent more money on race horses over the years than I have gained, that’s for sure,” he said.
“But like any hobby you get caught up in the excitement of it and with racing you hope that one day you might get successful.
“My dream is to win a group-one race in Melbourne.”
For about as long as Mr Cook has been involved in horses, he has also been attending the Cranbourne Cup.
“I used to go when the Cranbourne Township closed for a half-day holiday in the afternoon for the Cranbourne Cup,” he said.
“It’s always good to see a locally trained horse win the Cup.
“It would be great to some day have a winner there myself.”