Training Philosophy

Nigel's training philosophy revolves around his desire to realise each horse's maximum potential in their own time, and putting the health and welfare of each horse and his staff, above all else.

Nigel expertly identifies those horses that can handle the pressures of juvenile racing, and those that are unlikely to. Despite the riches on offer for two-year-old racing in Australia, Nigel does not compromise a horse's career longevity, health or welfare for short term gain.

Highly qualified educators and track-riders implement Nigel's program to ensure each young horse is trained for control, energy preservation and a strong finish at the end of their races. Drawing on his English training roots, global racing experience and career success in Australian conditions, Nigel knows this approach offers each horse the best chance of reaching their potential at their optimum age.

There is no substitute for attention to detail and true horsemanship at Blackiston Racing. With a stable bigger than boutique but smaller than a major operation, Nigel relishes the opportunities each morning to monitor his horses closely and in person. Subtle changes in movement, behaviour, appetite, temperature and other factors are detected first-hand. His experienced support staff are consulted regularly and provide valuable input into each horse's program. Personal evaluation of each horse in question allows rapid modification of exercise, feed or environmental factors.

Nigel also believes sourcing the right partners for veterinarian, agistment, transport, farrier, dentistry and other services goes far beyond locality. Each service provider is thoroughly evaluated and philosophies are shared. The length of these partnerships and the good reputation of each party is testament to the robustness of these policies. 

Last but not least, Nigel and Susanna Blackiston consider the welfare of each horse in training, spelling and retired, and the safety of their staff and riders, as their number one responsibility. This underpins all policies and procedures in the stable, which should give owners confidence.

Group One winners Littorio and Suavito lead the way. But Nigel has trained a long list of stakes performers without spending the big money on expensive yearlings.