Sargent celebrates regal maiden century Fri, 06 Jul 2012
John Sargent realised a long-held ambition today when he posted his 100th training success of the season and moved a step closer to completing the second leg of a dream double.
The Matamata horseman brought up his century when So Regal beat her stablemate Winning Genes in the opening event at Ashburton and holds a comfortable lead in his bid to win the trainers’ premiership.
“It’s a great relief to get off 99 and I would dearly love to win that premiership,” Sargent said. “We got to 75 last year and with the South Island stable going we thought we would give it a good go.
“Apart from Choice Bro and Quintessential we haven’t had any stars and we haven’t got big owners, just a lot of syndicates and a lot of horses that are middle of the road and have been placed right to get the best out of them.”
Sargent opened his secondary southern stable 18 months ago and this season it has contributed 30 winners to the operation’s tally. “Andrew Carston has done a great job down, but there will be a change next month with Andrew taking over the Sydney stable,” Sargent said.
“His twin sister Michelle will be looking after the South Island stable so that’s going to be a smooth change over. I’ve been lucky with staff and a lot of them have been with me since I started training back in New Zealand.”
Sargent stalwarts include his office and financial manager Lou Weatherley and Matamata stable foreman Hayden Allen.
“It’s been a terrific season for all of us with Choice Bro and Quintessential the obvious stand-outs,” Sargent said.
Choice Bro beat his stablemate Magic Shaft to claim the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes while Quintessential won the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks and finished runner-up a week later in the Gr.1 Queensland Derby.
Sargent began his training career in the Central Districts and won the Newcomer to Training Award in 1992-93 and two seasons later was runner-up on the strike rate table. In 1998 he relocated to Malaysia where he won the premiership in 2000 before returning home in 2002 to establish his Ladbrook Park Stables at Matamata.