Trainer Les Samba shot dead- Link with accused murderer Ron Medich

Well we will have to see if anything comes of the obvious links here to what has been going on in Sydney since Medich was charged with murdering and soliciting to murder Sydney property developer Michael McGurk. Samba owned several Sydney horses with accused murderer Ron Medich, including Sea Lord and Defiant Dame, who is due to run at Warwick Farm on Saturday. To be shot in the head, and the shooter to just walk away suggest some planning to say the least! Samba was an owner these days but had some success years ago, some believe due to elephant juiced horses in his stables.His daughter was once married to “Colourful”  jockey Danny Nikolic, who recently returned to the saddle after a 12 month long fight with stewards down here in Vic over numerous incidents on and off the track!

Trainer Les Samba shot dead on Beaconsfield Parade in Middle Park

Jockey Danny Nikolic speaks to Les Samba, centre, and trainer Bobby Thompson at a race meeting in 2004

Middle Park shooting

Police at the scene of the shooting on Beaconsfield Pde, Middle Park.

FORMER South Australian trainer Les Samba was the man shot dead in Middle Park last night, it has emerged.

Samba, in Melbourne for the thoroughbred yearling sales, was killed in a laneway off Beaconsfield Parade – near the intersection of Langridge St – about 9.35pm.

Police said the 60-year-old victim had an argument with another man before suffering multiple bullet wounds to the head and back.

He was running when he was shot.

Samba owned several Sydney horses with accused murderer Ron Medich, including Sea Lord and Defiant Dame, who is due to run at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

Medich was last year charged with murdering and soliciting to murder Sydney property developer Michael McGurk and is currently on bail.

Detective Inspector John Potter, from the homicide squad, said it appeared the shooting was not random.

“We have obviously got to explore a number of particular avenues,” he said.

“We believe he (the victim) had some sort of connection to this individual. Based on the information we currently have we don’t believe it could be a random shooting.”

Police are still searching for the gunman, who is believed to be in his 20s or 30s and was wearing dark clothes and a hat.

He had distinctive light-coloured hair, which could have been a wig, police said.

Police said the victim was shot after parking a silver 2010 Hyundai, displaying NSW number plates, in Beaconsfield Pde.

He then had some kind of argument with another man which ended in the shooting.

Detectives want to speak to two or three people who were near a black Mercedes and fled after the incident.

It was not immediately clear whether those people were involved in the shooting, Insp Potter said.

Police have not yet found the murder weapon.

While he trained many winners, Samba, who lived in Sydney, also enjoyed much success as an owner.

He raced Gorky Park, which won the Geelong Classic and ran second behind Efficient in the 2006 Victoria Derby.

Samba’s daughter Victoria, formerly married to jockey Danny Nikolic, raced Thorn Park, which won the 2004 Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.

Nikolic said he’d received several calls today informing him of Samba’s death.

“It’s a huge shock,” he said.

More recently, Samba owned Defiant Dame, who won the Gimrack Stakes at Randwick last October.

Talk of Samba’s death dominated discussion on the opening day of the yearling sales at Oakland Junction.

Early in his career, Samba strapped Rain Lover when it won the 1969 Melbourne Cup.

David Hayes, who trained Gorky Park, said he’s been told of Samba’s death. “Les was a good guy, a character,” Hayes said.

During the 1980s, Samba was linked to flamboyant Perth trainer George Way, who was disqualified for life after two horses trained by him returned a positive swab to Etorphine, more commonly known as elephant juice.

Ambulance spokesman Paul Bentley said paramedics were called to the scene of the shooting at 9.40pm.

“The first crew arrived within eight minutes and confirmed a man was shot in the upper body and was dead,” he said.

Michael Quill, who was on the scene just minutes after the shooting, said he saw the victim was lying face down in blood.

“When we saw him he was in a pool of blood and he was completely lifeless,” Mr Quill said.

“I heard a doctor on the scene saying that he thought the man was about 50 and that there was blood coming from his head.”

Two women walking along the road said they had seen two people running from the scene.

Katie Stephens, who lives on Beaconsfield Pde, said the area was normally very quiet.

“You would be a bit concerned (about a shooting in your street),” she said.

“You would want to know why, whether it was domestic violence or is it involving drugs? Normally something like that doesn’t happen in this area.”

One man, who lives on Beaconsfield Pde just metres from the scene, said he was woken up by the commotion.

“I heard the first gunshot,” the man said.

The police airwing and dog squad searched the Middle Park area last night.

The homicide squad and forensic were still scouring the area for clues and door-knocking people in the area this morning.

Acting Sen-Sgt Fisher said he was confident there were other witnesses because the shooting happened in a highly visible place.

Anyone with information is urged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or

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