Sargent To Close New Zealand Stable

Group 1 winning trainer John Sargentwill close his Matamata stable in New Zealand before the start of the new racing season to focus his energies on his growing Sydney stable.

John Sargent will close his Matamata Stable in the coming weeks in order to concentrate on his operation in Sydney.

John Sargent will close his Matamata Stable in the coming weeks in order to concentrate on his operation in Sydney. Photo by: Daniel Costello

Sargent has operated stables in both New Zealand and Sydney since 2012, starting a small team at Warwick Farm before moving to a bigger stable at Royal Randwick, and has been able to maintain success of both sides of the Tasman; winning the 2012 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) with Quintessential, the 2013 Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) with Kirramosa and the Group 1 2014 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) with Miss Mossman.

The Group 1 winning trainer told The New Zealand Racing Desk that he had been happy with the way that his New Zealand stable had been going, but is looking to become one of the premier trainers in Australia and does not believe that will be possible while his focus is split across two different stables.

“I just want to concentrate fully on Sydney,” Sargent said.

“There’s nothing wrong with the New Zealand stable, it’s ticking along quite nicely, but I’m building up and trying to get bigger in Sydney and to do that I can’t do the job justice back at Matamata anymore.

“It’s very competitive over here and I need to have my full focus on my stable in Sydney.

“I will look at bringing horses back to New Zealand for races, especially Group One races at Ellerslie.

“We’ll look closely at races like the Diamond Stakes and Auckland Cup and we could even come back and run at Trentham for races like the Telegraph Handicap.”

The majority of Sargent-trained horses that are currently based in New Zealand will join the stables of Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, while Sargent confirmed that he will bring some of his two-year-olds across to Australia for the new season.

Sargent has recorded just one metropolitan win in Sydney during the 2013/2014, a number that he will be looking to improve on next season, but said that he no regrets about his decision to transfer his operation to Australia.

“For me Sydney was the next challenge,” Sargent said.

“It’s vibrant here and we live on the beach, so the change has been great.

“It will probably extend my training career.”

Sargent will be represented by only one runner at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday; with Iggi Pop set to contest the Freshmark Handicap (2000m).

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.