Retired horse trainer Neville Atkins.
Retired horse trainer Neville Atkins. KARLEILA THOMSEN

Local recalls shot at the Cup

WHEN six-year-old Corey Atkins turns up for school at Yarrilee this morning he’ll be revealing a racing heritage.

His father is former leading Kiwi trainer and now Dundowran Beach resident Neville Atkins.

Corey will be wearing his father’s stable silks, colours that featured in many major Kiwi classics.

Neville trained a winner of the NZ Derby and saddled up a runner in the 1984 Melbourne Cup.

“Secured Deposit was our hope and he finished in the middle of the pack, but it was a great thrill to have a runner in the biggest race around,” he said.

“Unfortunately they only paid prizemoney back to 10th place and we missed out.

“Not many people get a chance to get a runner in the Cup, so we were lucky.

“You can watch it on TV but just being there, with the atmosphere, with the whole crowd; it’s really electric.

“Secured Deposit was a top horse in New Zealand so we thought we’d give it a go.”

Neville said he would be staying home to watch the race today and would be cheering on one of his top picks So You Think.

He moved to Hervey Bay from Toowoomba about a year ago and now resides on a quiet five-acre Dundowran property with his two children and wife Deanne, who is also an avid horse lover.

Although they no longer own any horses, the addiction still sees Mr Atkins take on some part-time farrier work and he has been training trotters a few hours a day in Tinana.

“It’s like a disease, once it’s got you it never lets go.”

The Melbourne Cup will be screened on Channel 7 at 2pm.



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