Staff Profile: Jack Nicholls
Jake Nicholls has largely been practicing self isolation at work long before the term became so widely used in these crazy COVID-19 days.
Nicholls, 34, is a member of the BRC’s key track workforce which plays such a critical role in keeping racing and training proceeding smoothly at Eagle Farm and Doomben.
His role is primarily to keep the sand and dirt training circuits at Eagle Farm in good health by driving the water truck for long hours each day. These two tracks need a huge amount of water to maintain a surface which is at the highest standard for horses to be exercised six mornings a week. “Over a day and night cycle the sand takes around 50,000 litres and the dirt close to 150,000 litres,’’ Nicholls outlined.
When he is on day shift Nicholls starts his circuit work before 8am as soon as the last horse is off the training tracks and round he goes until 4pm. In hot summer months he has to refill the truck around 15 times.
Does he find the duties monotonous? “I listen a lot to podcasts. Comedy and true crime are my favourites. The day goes quickly enough. And I know my work helps the trainers to keep the horses safe and ready to run,’’ he said.
Nicholls who grew up in Cashmere but now lives only minutes from Eagle Farm at Hendra joined the BRC 12 years ago again in a time of crisis. “It was at the end of the equine flu racing shutdown. My first job was helping get the running rail back up for racing to resume and to whipper-snip the grass which was about a metre high,’’ Nicholls said.
Members might see Nicholls on Saturday race meetings as part of the small band of workers stomping down the divots in the track after each race.
It’s another “unsung” but important role in the myriad of jobs required by the BRC to present its premier tracks in prime order.
Staff Profile: Peter Fahey
What is your role at the BRC?
My role within the BRC is Host in both Derby Bar, Eagle Farm and Bernborough Bar, Doomben.
How long have you worked for BRC?
I have worked in this role for the BRC for the past 20 months. Prior to this I spent 8 years as the Supervisor Jockeys Room at the 4 metropolitan race tracks in Sydney.
What does your job entail?
Customer service and ensuring members enjoy the full race day experience. Being on hand to fully satisfy their needs and wants through communication action and results. The role also requires food and beverage service as well as the cleanliness and upkeep of these areas.
What’s the best part?
The best part of my role would be the social interaction with long standing members. Exchanging knowledge of years gone by and exploits of racehorses and jockeys.
What’s your favorite moment from your time with BRC?
My favourite moment would be when I was advised that I was successful at getting a job at the BRC! I really enjoy what I do.
How has your job changed since COVID-19?
My role during COVID-19 has changed only in respect to the people I now meet. I now work on the gates, allowing horses and jockeys access and egress the racetrack. I also assist with the testing of workers entering the course. These functions still require customer service and I'm thankful the BRC have given me these roles as it expands my knowledge of the business and I've met a broader range of the workforce.