Kevin Corstens has been around horses and racing stables since he was born and grew up in the shadows of legendary trainer Bart Cummings at his Melbourne stable, where his Group One-winning trainer-father Leon was working.
While his father and brother Troy have forged a successful training partnership at Flemington, Kevin Corstens is more than happy to carve out his own niche in what is a competitive industry.
Based at Tyabb to the east of Melbourne on a private property, while also having access to the Cranbourne Training Centre and nearby beaches, Corstens admits he prefers to be preparing his stable of about 25 racehorses – with the potential for growth – in a relaxed country environment.
The family-run business, underpinned by the support of his partner Isabelle Dogne and son William Larkin (who is also Corstens’ foreman), as well as their four other children, has been built on the back of rejuvenating tried horses.
Since returning to the Victorian training ranks in recent years, among Corstens’ biggest successes has been the Akeed Mofeed gelding Twilight Run who has provided him with metropolitan success.
“I believe in having my horses in a natural environment and making them happy. I have had a fair bit of success rehabilitating horses that way, ones who have had tendon injuries and so forth, using the beaches at Balnarring,” he said.
Having moved to a new training precinct at Tyabb which has a 1400-metre sand track and 27 day yards, Corstens’ focus is on increasing the quality of the stock under his tutelage.
“It currently has 25 boxes with day yards and we have scope to build more, so I would like to increase my numbers if I can,” he said.
“My partner and I have five children and we are a small family business. It has come together well and moving to our property at Tyabb will only help while still being in close proximity to Balnarring beach, which we use a lot, as well as the training tracks at Cranbourne.”
In an effort to achieve that goal of attracting better-class horses to the stable, Corstens will also be targeting the yearling sales in a bid to land the elusive ‘good horse’.
“My brother Troy has always said, ‘if you don’t go to the sales you don’t have any chance of getting a champion, so I do and will continue to buy yearlings,” Corstens said.