New Zealand trainer John Sargent is set to expand his operations to Sydney full of confidence after setting a new record in taking out his first New Zealand trainer’s premiership with 111 winners for the season.
And Sargent expects that it will be his last New Zealand title as he spreads his team over three bases when he kicks off his Warwick Farm stable this week as well as maintaining his Matamata and Riccarton bases.
“We will have six to eight horses in Sydney to start with and I am obviously hoping to get a few more,” said Sargent.
“I will have the 40-horse barn here in Matamata and we will probably cut Riccarton down to around 12 horses.”
“Initially, I will need to be heading to Sydney a lot to help set things up but I am lucky to have great staff because Andrew knows how we feed and train so it should be a consistent transition.”
Mark Walker had set the benchmark in 2009/2010 season with 108 winners with Sargent runner up on 80 then Sargent was again runner up last season with 75 winners behind Michael Pitman who trained 105.
“When you think of all the great trainers who have won the premiership it is an honour to be listed alongside them,” Sargent said.
“And to get to 111, to set the record, that gives all the young trainers something to chase.”
“I won the premiership when I was training in Malaysia in 2000 and I wanted to add one here, especially after finishing runner-up the last two seasons.”
Sargent will be splitting his time between Sydney and New Zealand and knows that he will have to spend plenty of time at Warwick Farm getting the new stable up and running.
The premiership trainer is keen to offer his owners more options and with the prizemoney in New South Wales on the increase, now was the right time to make the move.
“This is a way to give my horses and my owners more opportunities,” Sargent said.
“But not all horses are going to be suited to racing there because it’s hard to win in Sydney, so it isn’t a mass exodus.”
“I will see how it all pans out before I know how big it gets and how much time I spend in each place.”
Sargent has been visting the Carnivals for over ten years and won his first Group 1 on Australian soil when Quintessential took out the $400,000 Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2.
“What a great way to kick off the new stable when it does get underway,” Sargent said after the Oaks wins.
“A win like this is just what we need to get new owners.”
Sargent’s right hand man Andrew Carsons will move from Riccarton to Warwick Farm to oversee the new stable while his sister Michelle Carsons will take over the Riccarton stables, and Sargent will split his time between Matamata and Sydney.