Finalists – Administration and Ancillary Award 2020 – Sponsored by MRC Foundation
26 May 2020
Administration and Ancillary Services finalists Sarah Moran and Tetsuhito Hirose, not surprisingly, come from vastly different backgrounds.
And their roles in the racing industry are similarly diverse.
But both are vitally responsible in ensuring their businesses run smoothly and efficiently.
For Moran, the personal assistant to Victorian trainer Robbie Griffiths, her job is one that she came to as something of a novice 10 years ago, and one she has developed into a small business in its own right.
After working in a variety of racing-related jobs, including as a guide at the Victorian Racing Museum and in the office of trainer Robbie Laing, Moran joined the Griffiths team in 2010 as an office assistant.
Over the next few years she took on additional tasks such as doing acceptances, booking jockeys, sending updates to owners, doing form analysis, marketing the yearlings her boss bought, organising the stables social media accounts and helping create a stable magazine.
But it was in the past two years that Moran emerged as an even more vital link in the Griffiths operation.
In 2019, Griffiths was diagnosed with a brain aneurism and underwent major surgery last August.
“I was out of business for quite a while and during that time Sarah proved vital in keeping the business afloat,” Griffiths said.
“Sarah had always been a keen and capable worker, always willing to turn her hand to whatever was needed. But during my illness we all realised the level of loyalty and devotion she was capable of. It was incredible. For her to win an award such as this would be a wonderful validation of a young woman’s dedication to this industry.”
For her part, Moran is simply delighted to be a candidate.
“I’m humbled and excited. Like most people, I do what I can in my job and for that to be recognised is an absolute honour,” she said.
Tetsuhito Hirose, “Hiro”, came to racing via an unorthodox path.
A university graduate in Japan where his first intention was to get into sports management, Hiro played top-level basketball in his home country, but was always looking for something different.
“I’d never really touched a horse, I was just hanging over the fence at the racecourse,” he said.
“I knew there was a big racing industry in America and Europe, but when I saw horses like Horlicks and Better Loosen Up win the Japan Cup I realised it must also be pretty big in Australia and New Zealand.”
So it was, that against his family’s wishes, he came to Australia in 1995 with no horse skills and a distinct lack of English.
Hiro initially gravitated to the Hunter Valley where he worked at any job that would help him gain knowledge. He was a jackaroo, float driver, feed man, horse breaker, and just about everything else, until he joined Gerald Ryan when he was based on the Queensland Gold Coast.
That job eventually led, in 2006, to an introduction to equine transport company IRT.
Since then his standing in the company has been on a steep incline. From groom to his present position as Operations Co-ordinator, Hiro has displayed a rare ability to go beyond the parameters of an already complex job.
Among his achievements was the development of a special relationship with the Japan Racing Association that proved instrumental in cutting through the red tape and solving quarantine issues to get the 2019 Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux to Melbourne.
He also played a vital role in getting the Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues and runner-up Pop Rock to the post at Flemington in 2006.
IRT Chairman Quentin Wallace, Hiro’s nominator, summed him up: “Hiro’s journey is a wonderful embodiment of how so many in the horse industry dedicate their lives to following their hearts and indulging their passion for the betterment of us all.”