Elusive and respected harness owner a chance for Group 1 glory

Torque Like Motion being driven by Shane Graham.

If Torque Like Motion is able to cause a boil over in the Queensland Oaks on Saturday night, it would be a well-deserved victory at the highest level for a dedicated owner.

That is the view of several trainers across two codes of racing in the Sunshine State.

The bay filly is raced by long-time breeder and owner Ian Corazzol.

As prolific as Corazzol is as an owner in Queensland, he is just as elusive and flies under the radar.

The 73-year-old has Group 1 glory on his resume as an owner in years gone by but he is rarely seen at the track, whether it be the gallops or the pacers.

Corazzol has long been a major player in the harness code – breeding and owning standardbreds – while he has an increased presence in the thoroughbreds these days, as well.

One regular at harness tracks in Queensland notes that they have seen the big-time owner once in the last decade.

The voice of harness racing in the Sunshine State Chris Barsby refers to Corazzol as a “quiet achiever”.

Wayne Graham prepares Torque Like Motion for Corazzol and detailed the demeanour of his stable owner for almost three decades.

“He occasionally will come to the trots, but he is a low-profile bloke and you seldom see him at the races,” Graham said.

“He goes about his business and watches his horses from afar. He does not seek any limelight, that is for sure.”

While he is quiet in nature, Corazzol’s horse flesh does the talking for itself.

The majority of his horses – across both codes – race with a Torque in their name, including his Group 1 Oaks fancy on Saturday night.

Leading Caloundra gallops conditioner Stuart Kendrick has struck a close partnership with Corazzol in recent times.

“He is a great bloke,” Kendrick said.

“He is one of my biggest owners now and has shares in over 20 horses.”

In his purple, gold treble clef colours, Kendrick had Tornado Torque face the starter at Rockhampton for his reliable owner and has two more youngsters in the same silks heading to Gatton on Tuesday of next week.

While he has pacers and trotters with a number of harness trainers around the country, it is Graham who puts the polish on Torque Like Motion ahead of her Oaks bid.

Graham was working the filly around his Birnam property on Thursday morning and was surprised when told of how many gallopers his old mate has in work in the other horse racing code.

“He puts a lot into the sport and it is good to see him get success,” Graham said.

Stuart Kendrick.

Arguably the best pacer Corazzol ever raced was Torque In Motion who won the Group 1 Ladyship Mile back in 2012 at Menangle.

Torque In Motion was also placed at the highest level twice as well as claiming the Group 3 Robin Dundee Stakes.

The long-retired Torque In Motion is the dam of 2023 Oaks hopeful Torque Like Motion, a winner of the QBRED Breeders Classic Final in her gender and age bracket earlier this year.

The 68-year-old Graham first got in contact with Corazzol when he was breaking in horses for a living and their relationship has grown from there.

The respected owner has also had horses with Graham’s son Shane over the journey.

“He is terrific as an owner and has had horses with me for 25 or 30 years,” Graham said of Corazzol.

“I used to break in horses for him in the early days and then he eventually gave me a few to train. He has always had one or two in the stables with me for donkeys years.

“He is as good a person as you would meet and he just loves his racing and breeding.”

Corazzol was not afraid to back a younger generation of Graham in Shane through his involvement with Wayne and it is the same in the gallops.

He has had horses with Mackay trainer John Manzelmann for a lengthy period of time and is now backing his son, Lachie.

Lachie has Lets Torque A Deel in on Mackay Cup day this Saturday in Corazzol’s colours.

“The main owner in Lets Torque A Deel, Ian Corazzol, is a trotting man and he was my first horse, he just gave him to me to have a crack with,” Lachie told News Corp recently.

Stuart Kendrick.

John Manzelmann had Honestyandloyalty in the Corazzol colours go around at Rockhampton on Thursday.

Back to the harness code, Wayne Graham estimates Corazzol breeds around half a dozen pacers every year, feeding into the popular QBRED scheme.

On one evening at Redcliffe last month, Corazzol’s broodmare Effective Torque had five of her progeny race on the same program.

While none of the five won on that specific occasion, it was still a mighty feat to have a handful from the same mare go around on the same night.

Four of the five did run into a top three finish.

On that night, two were prepared by Graham, while three were from the leading barn of Jack Butler.

“He is just one hell of a nice guy,” Graham said of his long-time owner.

“We have never had an argument, even when I want to move on a horse that is not going that well. He is a terrific bloke to train for as we have never had a cross word.”

Away from the horses, Corazzol is entrenched in the music industry.

As of Thursday afternoon, the bookmakers have Torque Like Motion rated as a $41 chance in the Oaks at Albion Park. 

Jewel Melody is the red-hot favourite at $1.80.

With a back row draw and Shane Graham in the sulky, Wayne says Torque Like Motion is a winning chance if she can get the right run into the race.

Torque Espagna winning at the Gold Coast for trainer Stuart Kendrick and jockey Montana Philpot.

By Jordan Gerrans