It’s been a record breaking week in New Zealand with trainer Michael Pitman cracking one barrier and sitting on the verge of another.
The South Island based Pitman had two winners at his home track of Riccarton over the weekend, the effort securing him his 100th win in a season.
Amazingly that makes him the first South Island based trainer in history to ever reach three figures.
It looks like getting even better as well with the overall record for most wins in a season now well and truly in his grasp.
The only people to have trained more than him at the moment were all based on the North Island, those being Dave O’Sullivan, Graeme Rogerson and Mark Walker.
It’s Walker who holds the overall best mark with 108 winners just last year in the 2009 – 2010 season.
That means Pitman now has a full month to try and real in the record and with his team currently racing so well it seems more likely than not that he will do so.
These kind of efforts aren’t new to Pitman, back in 2007 – 2008 he became the first South Island trainer to win the New Zealand premiership for 36 years.
He did it on that occasion with just 86 winners showing just how far his stable has become.
He’s proud of the inroads he’s making for trainers in his region and he’s well aware of the record and is certainly aiming for it.
“We’ll be doing our best so we’ll see what happens,” Pitman said.
“What I am proud of is that the only other ones to do it have been Dave O’Sullivan, Graeme Rogerson and Mark Walker so I’ve joined an elite club.
“It’s been a huge season for us and to win 100 races is unreal.
“I honestly didn’t think anyone could train 100 winners in the South Island.
“I’ve got a great team of staff and apprentices. it’s just been one huge effort and I’m very proud of them all.
“We only work 40 horses, sometimes we might get to 42 or 44, so it’s been a lot of hard work.”
Pitman has an unassailable lead in the trainers premiership and is 26 wins clear of his nearest rival John Sargent.
This comes at the same time that New Zealand jockey James McDonald secured his 200th winner, he too breaking new ground in the process.
Pitman has been toiling away for 22 years now at his Riccarton base and after a slow start has built up a portfolio of over 1300 race wins.