Cambridge trainer Roger James is enjoying one of his best seasons in recent times.
James, along with his young training partner Robert Wellwood, have recorded 25 wins from 130 starts, resulting in the stable’s best strike rate since the 2000/2001 season.
James credits the success to the quality of horses he and Wellwood have in training at Kingsclere Stables.
“We’ve got good horses in the stable and that makes life a lot easier,” he said. “It’s very hard to make slow ones run fast.
“We’re not doing anything different to what we’ve done for years.”
One such good horse is Rondinella, an impressive winner of her last two starts, and James rates the four-year-old daughter of Ocean Park highly heading into the Listed Marks Ewan and Associates Kaimai Stakes (2000m) at Matamata on Saturday.
“I made a bold statement when she won her maiden race that she’s the best that I’ve trained since Silent Achiever and she’s given me no reason to change my mind on that statement,” he said.
“I’m really happy with her. She takes very little work but the one piece of work that she’s had was quite stunning, I just hope that we don’t get all the rain that’s predicted.”
The depth of quality in the stable is further highlighted by the stable’s other runners this weekend.
“On Saturday at Matamata we’ve got Concert Hall (Rich Hill Stud 1600) she’s had two wins and a second in three starts and was quite stunning last start,” James said.
“We also have Hasstobegood in the Matamata Breeders Stakes (Gr.2 1200m), Jimmy Rocket in the last (Westbury Waikato Handicap), his form’s pretty solid.
“Then we’ve got Von Tunzelman (Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic) and Hanger (Cavallo Farm and Chris Rutten Bloodstock 1200) down at Otaki,” said James, not forgetting two additional headline acts.
“Elate is really well she will hold a nomination for the Lowland Stakes (Gr.2, 2100m) but probably more than likely go to the Sunline (Gr.2, 1600m).
“Hypnos has had a short spell and he’s back in now and looking at a preparation towards the Queensland Guineas (Gr.2, 1600m).”
If their recent spending spree at Karaka is anything to go by, Kingsclere Stables won’t be slowing down any time soon, with five horses knocked down to the pair during the Book 1 session at a cost of $795,000.
“Going into the sale I had one solid order and I worked very hard to get support and I was very grateful for the support that I got,” James said.
“I’ve been doing it a number of years now and I’ve got some very good owners around me and I have to work hard putting the syndicates together.
“Robert bought a horse of his own to syndicate for the first time and he’s managed to bring some new owners in, which is really good and I had at least one new owner come in at quite a good level.
“Robert is an integral part of the team, I think we work well together and that’s been proven.
“I think it’s largely a younger person’s industry and I think that’s where having a young training partner brings us a good balance because I’ve got my solid established senior clients and Robert is mixing in different circles to me and he brings with him a lot of enthusiasm.
“He’s a people person so it means we’re covering a bigger circle of people than perhaps I was covering on my own.” – NZ Racing Desk