No­ble makes tough de­ci­sion to close

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On - DEN­NIS RYAN

breed­ing blood­stock port­fo­lio.

And while the de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate to the Lind­says’ state-ofthe-art property at Karaka has in­deed come as a sur­prise, those who understand the dy­nam­ics of the train­ing busi­ness can well ap­pre­ci­ate where Lance and his wife Leigh are com­ing from.

‘‘The of­fer that Bren­dan and Jo have made se­cures our fu­ture and I’m look­ing for­ward to train­ing a qual­ity team with­out the anx­i­ety of pay­ing our bills and keep­ing the whole thing go­ing,’’ says Lance.

‘‘The hard­est part was telling our staff and all the won­der­ful clients who have been such a part of our suc­cess to date. Our own­ers and our staff have one thing in com­mon – tremen­dous loy­alty – and it’s go­ing to be a wrench when the day comes.

‘‘Mata­mata has also been a huge part of both of our lives. It be­gan here for me 30 years ago when I came up from Welling­ton to take a job as a sta­ble­hand with Jim Gibbs and it’s been my train­ing base from the time I was first li­censed.’’

That sums up the co­nun­drum of all that goes with run­ning your own busi­ness and the sat­is­fac­tion de­rived from per­sonal suc­cess, as against an al­ter­na­tive model as of­fered by Lind­say Rac­ing.

The fac­tor that un­der­lines the chal­lenges in­her­ent in train­ing is that Eas­don Lodge has been one of the coun­try’s most suc­cess­ful oper­a­tions over the past decade. Lance’s ca­reer to­tal of 400-plus wins and more than 250 since go­ing solo 15 years ago are telling sta­tis­tics, along with head­line acts such as triple Group Onewin­ning race­mare Vi­adana – bought as a year­ling for $25,000 and a shin­ing ex­am­ple of the won­ders of race­horse syn­di­ca­tion.

De­par­ture from Mata­mata has been no bar to con­tin­u­ing suc­cess for one of Mata­mata’s very best train­ers of re­cent times, Mark Walker, who has just added a Sin­ga­pore premier­ship to the five achieved while at the helm of Te Akau Rac­ing.

Two fur­ther wins in the Te Akau colours at Kranji in Sun­day com­pleted Mark’s 2015 Sin­ga­pore sea­son with a tally of 86.

Match that up with a do­mes­tic premier­ship lead built this sea­son by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and it would be fair to say the op­er­a­tion is making ev­ery post a win­ner.

An­other im­pres­sive win at Awa­puni last Satur­day by the Autridge-Richards-trained Shillelagh – her third from as many starts – took the stable tally to 42 wins and less than $10,000 from crack­ing the $1 mil­lion bar­rier.

Shillelagh was one of three Mata­mata-trained win­ners at Awa­puni, with the oth­ers – Watch This Space and Dezig­na­tor – both from the Wayne Hil­lis-Shaun Kesner team and car­ry­ing the colours of stable stal­wart Emma Evans.

PHOTO: TRISH DUNELL

Lance No­ble will be missed in Mata­mata train­ing ranks.

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