A meticulous master trainer ...more
In partnership with his son Graeme for more than a decade, Bill Sanders was the second trainer (after Rex Cochrane) to train a thousand winners – which numbered 1001 at his retirement in 1985.
Turning professional in 1960, took his son into partnership a decade later and the combination dominated the 1970s, winning five successive premierships.
Bill and his son produced a grand stream of racehorses over the years. Sanders Senior’s philosophy was simple – feed 'em hard, work 'em hard, race 'em hard – and this was vindicated with results.
Sponsor: Dunstan Feeds
All the Racing Hats - a master all rounder. ...more
Brian Anderton was a successful jockey on the flat and over fences, starting at age 13 and riding 398 winners – but is even more successful as a trainer, his winning tally now close to 1300.
Brian is a one-time riding master for the Otago Apprentice School, and a past president of the Otago Racing Club and Otago branch of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
In 1956 founded national icon stud White Robe Lodge, where he stood champion sires Mellay and Noble Bijou.
In recent years, White Robe Lodge helped to under pin South Island breeders with Stallions, and has continues through sponsorship and racing to supporting racing in the South.
Sponsor: White Robe Lodge Clients
Renowned champion who won 5 derbys over 50 years ...more
The trainer known as much to his friends as the racing public as “Jillo” handed in his trainers licence in 2004. He had held that licence for an amazing 54 years.
Regarded as a master trainer of stayers, he trained 1327 winners in total, 703 of those in partnership with fellow trainer Richard Yuill.
Often referred to as “racing’s gentleman trainer” and respected and admired by his peers, Jillings was renowned for his ability to set a horse for a race after mapping out the target a long way out.
Saddling his first winner, Lawful, while still aged in his 20s, to win the Great Northern Derby in 1958, Jillings was to go on and win a Derby in each subsequent decade up to his retirement.
As well as training five New Zealand Derby winners, he trained three New Zealand Oaks winners, and won four Auckland Cups, a Wellington Cup and two New Zealand Cups.
His versatility as a trainer were also demonstrated in jumps racing where he won three Great Northern Steeples and two Great Northern Hurdles.
Associated with many memorable horses, some of his best performers included Uncle Remus, McGinty and The Phantom Chance, who won the WS Cox Plate from the Jillings/Yuill stable as well as the New Zealand Derby.
Champion trainer of 11 premierships - producing a racing dynasty ...more
The only apprentice to salute the judge before a young Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Ellerslie meeting of 1953 – not a bad win, either: the Railway Handicap on Te Awa – O’Sullivan rode for less than a decade (125 winners) before weight problems forced him out. Setting up as a trainer at Matamata, he first became known as a successful mentor of apprentices. Roger Lang, Peter Johnson, Shane Dye and eventually his son Lance were just some of the top riders who came from the stable. Equine winners also came off the property in a steadily expanding stream until (ultimately in partnership with his son Paul) O’Sullivan found a regular place at the top of trainers’ list. Dave O’Sullivan retired in 1998 with a lifetime tally of 1877 wins (at present the New Zealand record), 1613 in partnership with Paul. Dave won the premiership on his own in 1978-79, another 10 titles in partnership with Paul. Oopik, Golden Rhapsody, Sharivari, Waverley Star, Paul De Brett, La Souvronne, Blue Denim, Mapperley Heights and champion mare Horlicks were among the many Group One performers to wear the O’Sullivan polish.
Dave O'Sullivan is proudly sponsored by TRAC racing consortium which consists of the racing clubs in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Te Aroha and Matamata regions.
Outstanding trainer of the first 1/2 century of NZ racing ...more
Richard Mason was regarded as the outstanding trainer of New Zealand racing’s first epoch. His record in what would now be described as New Zealand’s black-type races remains unmatched to this day and he made regular trips across the Tasman over a period of 20-plus years to beat the Australians on their home ground. Mason trained for 22 years for George Stead when Stead was the dominant owner in the country – indeed, no owner since has equalled the dominance achieved by the yellow and black Stead colours around the turn of the 20th Century. On Stead’s death, Mason went training for a new patron, George Dean Greenwood, and for him won a further 11 Derbies, 10 Jackson Plates, nine CJC Challenge Stakes… well, a further 58 races on either side of the Tasman which would these days carry black type. He was credited at his death with having trained 30 Derby winners, on either side of the Tasman, and he won 57 races with the great Gloaming alone. Dick Mason died in 1932, in his 80th year, just a week after Gloaming died, aged 17, on George Greenwood’s Teviotdale Station.
Dick Mason was sponsored by Hamilton based accountancy firm - Beattie Rickman which has recently merged with PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand. Please call 07-838-3838 or go to www.clevercompanies.co.nz for further information.
Worldwide Ambassador for the NZ thoroughbred ...more
Graeme Rogerson has had stables in many parts of the racing world – including New Zealand, Australia, and even Dubai – as he set upon a campaign to take NZ racing to the world.
Fierce determination and hard work enabled “Rogie” to overcome early stoushes with officialdom to then reach the pinnacle of his profession.
By the time he trained his 2000th New Zealand winner, in 2010, he had won 12 NZ premierships, and one in Sydney, where he had operated a separate stable for years.
His major wins in Australia include the big three:
the Golden Slipper,
the Cox Plate, and
the Melbourne Cup.
Rogie was and is a tireless and enthusiastic ambassador internationally for the New Zealand thoroughbred.
Sponsor: Max Whitby
Honorary New Zealander –Melbourne Cup's King ...more
Bart Cummings is the New Zealand Hall of Fame’s first honorary inductee.
James Bartholomew “Bart” Cummings has never raced a horse in New Zealand, but no overseas trainer has done more to promote the New Zealand stayer through the success he has achieved with the New Zealand thoroughbred.
Bart saddled an astonishing 12 Melbourne Cup winners, with eight of these being New Zealand-bred.
An astute judge, Bart has been a major buyer at New Zealand yearling sales since the early 1960s.
A legend of the Australian turf in Australia, Bart was awarded the Order of Australia and was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Hall of Fame.
Sponsor: Cambridge Stud
"Gentleman Jim" - The Trainers' Trainer ...more
As a jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, mentor, and astute judge of a horse ‘gentleman Jim’ has done it all at group one level.
Jim Gibb’s career started at a very early age in the saddle – winning many prestigious jumping races.
Jim began training while still riding. Preparing 145 stakes winners, Jim reached the apogee of his career as a trainer in the 1980s when, with a team of modest size and sometimes modest pedigrees, lining up as many as five runners in major northern group events.
Jim was the first Kiwi to train the winners of $1 million in New Zealand, in 1986-87, and the first to saddle the winners of $2 million in a season - two years later.
Tidal Light was the star three-year-old of the 1986-87 racing season, racking up 10 wins, including the group one New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie.
Gibbs won the 1989 Auckland Cup with Spyglass and enjoyed Melbourne Cup success as an owner through a retained share in Doriemus who won the 1995 Melbourne and Caulfield Cups when trained in Melbourne by Lee Freedman.
Revered as a mentor for trainers and young apprentice jockeys, Jim will be remembered for producing 36 apprentice jockeys, a future generation of trainers, and as an respected gentleman – a trait backed up by a ‘racing personality of the year’ award.
Jim signed off his training career with a winner, as he did with his last ride on Pretty Peen some 43 years earlier, after 47 years as a trainer and was recognised for his contribution to thoroughbred racing when awarded the Member of NZ Order Of Merit.
Sponsor: NZ Thoroughbred Magazine
International trainer of great gallopers and jumpers ...more
During his hay day, John Wheeler was more successful in Australia than any other New Zealand trainer of modern times.
In Australia John trained three near-champions – Poetic Prince, Rough Habit, and Veandercross and won many major Australian races (including a dozen Group Ones) with all three horses.
John has dominated the Australia's jumping scene for many years (winning seven Great Eastern Steeplechases at Oakbank) and won what is arguable the greatest jumping race in the world – the Nakayama Grand Jump in Tokyo with outstanding jumper St Steven.
A leading trainer at home John continues to be a great ambassador for his country.
The Jumping Maestro - jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, and polo player ...more
In 1977 Ken Browne became the first man to own, train and ride the winner of the Great Northern Steeplechase when he rode the tough gelding Ascona to victory.
Two years later the combination repeated the feat.
Browne would go on to train, in later years in partnership with his wife Ann, a further seven Great Northern Steeplechase winners as well as three Great Northern Hurdle winners.
Ken, an enthusiastic amateur from the time he left school in the 1950’s, recorded numerous wins as a jumps jockey. He was New Zealand’s leading jumps jockey in the calendar years 1981 and 1984 and in the 1986-87 racing seasons.
That enthusiasm was to span a remarkable fifty years during which Ken as an owner trainer prepared more than 500 winners over jumps. Together, he and wife Ann won most of New Zealand’s major jumping races, many of them several times.
From the 1980s he, and later with Ann, had jumping teams in work of a size never approached by another owner or trainer, except perhaps by Bill Hazlett in his heyday.
The consequence was that Browne runners frequently made up more than half a field and it is seriously doubtful whether northern jumps racing would have survived without the Browne’s contribution.
Browne’s success in the saddle remarkably increased as he grew older, with his peak coming during the 1978-1993 period when he was aged between 44 and 59.
One of Ken Browne’s stars was the great Sydney Jones, who had 56 starts over the steeples for 11 wins, earning $273,450 in stakes. Included in those wins were two McGregor Grant Steeplechases, two Pakuranga Hunt Cups and a win in the Great Northern Steeplechase.
In 2001 Ken Browne suffered a serious riding accident at his home which left him a tetraplegic confined to a wheelchair.
Not one to sit back, Browne was still training from his wheelchair and was a regular at the races to watch his and Ann’s horses. Two weeks prior to his passing in 2006, at the age of 72, Ken was at Ellerslie when he had two winners including a victory in the inaugural running of the race named after him, the K S Browne Hurdles.
Quiet achiever of 1000 winners over four decades ...more
Ray Verner took up training reluctantly to help his aging father at the time. Over time he became a master trainer, renowned for his conditioning of horses and was named NZ Racing Personality of the Year in 1978.
Ray trained top stayers like Good Lord (two Wellington Cups, Sydney Cup), sprinters like Blue Blood and Gold Hope, and weight-for-age horses like Prince Majestic and The Gentry.
Ray continued as an integral part of a family training dynasty spanning more than 70 years.