New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock and brothers Noel and Ron Stanley have enjoyed a three-decade long association and success continues to roll for the trio.
Over the years, they have also become firm friends and revelled in feature races victories from the likes of Grout, Wahid and Woburn.
“I’ve been training for the boys for a lot of years. It’s at least 30 because I’ve been going for 40 years and even when Dad (Bob) was with me they had horses with us,” Sharrock said.
“They have been great clients and friends and they are so easy to train for. They play the long game like I like playing and we select horses together.
“I source most of them and if they don’t like them we don’t buy them, we’ve all got to agree. They enjoy their racing and just love the thrill.”
Grout was an outstanding two-year-old who won the Gr.1 Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) before his sale to Hong Kong.
Wahid claimed the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) while Woburn won eight races, including the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and placed in the Derby and the South Australian Derby (2400m).
“We’ve had a lot of luck, you can call it luck or call us good judges,” Sharrock said.
Sharrock and the Stanleys have plenty more to look forward to with the brothers racing Saturday’s impressive Trentham winner Shamus.
“This horse is starting to back up behind the others, he’s a pretty smart horse,” Sharrock said.
“He’ll have his next run at Pukekohe in the open 1300m on January 8. He holds a nomination for the Thorndon Mile (Gr.1, 1600m) at Trentham, but he will have a limited prep.
“I think he will be a genuine weight-for-age horse next season and for the next two seasons after that. You’ll see something a lot stronger and a lot more powerful.
“He still hasn’t fully matured and he won untouched on Saturday and broke 1.10s on an off track so it was pretty special.”
The Stanley brothers also share in the ownership of Shamus’ gifted stablemates Darci La Bella and Ladies Man.
Darci La Bella won the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) last time out and runs next in Saturday week’s Gr.3 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) before a break.
“She’s a great little mare and will end up in the Tarzino Trophy (Gr.1, 1400m) next season, she’s a beauty,” Sharrock said.
“I was going to retire her at the end of this year, but she just keeps putting her hand up and is a genuine chance in races like that.”
Ladies Man has won three of his 11 starts and has been set for the Gr.3 NZ Campus for Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup (3200m).
“He’ll run at Awapuni next Saturday over a mile and then possibly 1800m at New Plymouth before we stretch him out over ground to lead into the Wellington Cup,” Sharrock said.
“Waisake is sound as a bell and he’s progressing nicely and Southroad, another one of the Stanleys, is my other Wellington Cup horse.
“He’s not a bad horse and is a dour stayer so I could have three in it with an ounce of luck.”