Cairns sets new challenge in state's South East

After earning the title of “Queen of the North", former Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns has begun a new challenge in the state’s South East.

DANAWI. Picture: (Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Olivia Cairns has moved from North Queensland and now leases a property just outside Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, and already has a stable of 21 horses in work.

The tyranny of distance prompted her bold decision to look for another challenge.

Cairns will head to Warwick on Tuesday and will saddle up her fifth starter from her new Beaudesert base when top weight Danawi tackles the Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1200 metres.

"I'm leasing a property which is just outside Beaudesert and it was an opportunity too good to refuse," Cairns said.

"Travelling was the main reason for the move and it just got too hard for the few rewards.

"I've got a four-year-old Landcruiser and it's already done 330,000 kilometres.

"No matter where I went from Mackay it was always about a four hour drive and it got too much.

"Down here, there's a lot less travelling and I think we've got horses that are good enough to win here."

Cairns won the Battle of the Bush for the second time as a trainer in 2022. 

Cairns has moved into stables previously occupied by well-known Beaudesert trainer Laurie Richardson, who trained and pre-trained horses, before deciding to base himself at the Beaudesert track.

Cairns has been training since 1999 and earned the tag "Queen of the North" after her many feature successes in North and Far North Queensland.

"I've won all the major races up north including the Townsville, Mackay and Cairns Cup but I'm yet to win a Rockhampton Cup," she said.

"I've also won the Townsville and Mackay trainer's premierships."

Cairns is not expecting Danawi to be her first winner from her new Beaudesert base.

Danawi, who will lump 61kgs with heavy weight Paul Hamblin to ride, is coming off a first-up fifth to stable mate Fire King in his stable debut at Thangool on January 14.

"He prefers it a bit longer than this and will probably need a bit more time second-up," Cairns said.

Cairns was a successful jockey before turning her hand to training.

Unfortunately, her riding career ended following an horrific fall at Cluden Park in 1998.

She spent two weeks in hospital and lost half of her liver.

Racing and Sports