THE Tasmanian thoroughbred industry is in mourning this week with the death of Launceston Cup-winning trainer Larry Dalco.
Dalco, 77, had been dealing with health issues for some time but his death still came as a shock to his family and close friends who say a recent trip to the doctors produced an encouraging prognosis.
Dalco trained for over 50 years, having first gained his licence as a 23-year-old he quickly made his mark as a quality horseman.
He prepared many feature race winners and he also had his share of success with hurdlers and steeplechasers.
A career highlight was his Launceston Cup triumph with Shipwright, defeating subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Piping Lane.
He prepared many top grade gallopers over the years including Wallis that was one of his favourites, along with his gallant grey Mt Arthur.
Others that shone for his stable were Hilton Place, Royal Rand, Hawon, All a Flutter, Wintercole, White Winter Rose, Wanganella, Raltrice and his very consistent Multiple Miss.
Barry’s Gold and Meander Son dominated at jumps racing which was one of Dalco’s great loves.
Dalco set an Australian record in the 1970s in that he won with 14 successive starters, a feat that remains a record in Tasmania.
The talented horseman was also keen to help apprentice riders and he was the first to employ female apprentice Alison Anderson who was the first female to rode against the males in Tasmania.
He also played a role in the development of other apprentices who went on to carve careers out of the game and that included Robyn Clarke, Annette Clancy, Russell Heald and Jodi Wells.
Dalco retired from training just over three years ago through a disqualification over contaminated feed which gutted the man who had done so much for racing.
However, he remained in touch with the industry through his wife Marion who took out a trainer’s licence.
Larry continued to be involved as an owner leaving him only to reminisce about his training successes.
The last winner he trained was Bachelor’s Life that won a race in Hobart in 2015 and his last winner as an owner was recently in Launceston when Holy Diamond saluted at good odds.
In his heyday as a trainer his stable was feared by bookmakers who often suffered substantial losses as a result of a Dalco stable plunge.
Even his last winner as a trainer Bachelor’s Life was backed in from $21 to $6 and won comfortably.
Dalco is survived by his wife Marion, daughters Edwina and Genevieve and son Gavin.
A memorial service for Dalco will be held at Mowbray racetrack today at 2.30.