Matamata trainer Paul Shailer will operate a satellite stable out of Awapuni next season.
It is a significant step for a trainer with just eight wins to his name, but Shailer - a former jockey who spent 10 years working for top Sydney trainer Chris Waller, graduating to be assistant trainer - has his sights set on being a potent force in the New Zealand training ranks.
It is part of a major shift for Shailer Racing, which will also move its Waikato base from the former Millfield Stud to a 30-box stable at Matamata racecourse, left vacant by Brisbane-bound Paul Jenkins, for the beginning of the new season on August 1.
Shailer will take over the Awapuni stables of Peter Hurdle, who is shifting to Sydney to take up a position with leading trainers John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes.
Shailer said he would fill all 30 boxes at his Matamata stables and send horses he believed would be better strategically placed at Awapuni down there.
"Racing in the north is a bit stronger and I think that’s just common knowledge,"Shailer said yesterday.
"Lesser horses that are struggling to win a race up here can go down there and be competitive for the same prizemoney.
"The setup at Peter Hurdle’s is pretty good. There’s 22 boxes and 22 paddocks, so all the horses can have access to both, and there’s a 10-horse walking machine.
"Pete’s had a lot of success from there, trained a lot of top horses, and hopefully we can do the same."
Shailer, who has yet to appoint a person to manage his Awapuni stable, hopes the new arm of his training operation can help him reach his goal of becoming one of New Zealand’s top trainers.
"It’s a positive move and we want to expand,"Shailer said.
"We’re young and new in the game but having spent time with Chris Waller in Sydney, I’m used to having big numbers around me and it’s something I want to strive for.
"We just want to take each season as it comes and we’d love to train a big team of horses and be competitive with the likes of the Sargents and the Te Akaus and the Lisa Lattas.
"If we can get to that within the next five or 10 years, we’d be very happy."
Shailer, who rode more than 120 winners as an apprentice jockey, is in his second season of training in New Zealand, since leaving Waller.
Among his team is Guess What, who ran fourth in the Gr III Waikato Guineas and provided Shailer with his first New Zealand Derby runner, promising Volksraad filly Mapmaker, impressive last-start Te Aroha winner Trepidation, and two-year-old winners Killa Question and Breaking Dawn.
Meanwhile, Hurdle will produce his last New Zealand runner, Pero, at New Plymouth on Saturday.
Hurdle’s son Ryan is already in Australia and is making waves in Queensland, apprenticed to leading trainer Robert
- © Fairfax NZ News