Wingatui trainers Brian and Shane Anderton are trying to put a forgettable season behind them as they look towards the new term.
The father and son team have posted 12 wins this season, well down on their usual 30-odd win tally, but Brian Anderton is confident they have the horsepower in their stable to rebound next season.
“We had a shocking season,” Anderton said. “But like the old saying, ‘you can’t pull your socks up if you have got none on.’ We just didn’t have the horses. We went through a lot of horses that didn’t make the grade.
“We have got a nice team building up around us now. We have got quite a few unraced horses there, so I am looking forward to them stepping out.”
One horse Anderton has particularly enjoyed welcoming back to the barn after a COVID-19 enforced break is Group One winner Patrick Erin (NZ) (Gallant Guru).
The son of Gallant Guru returned to his original trainers earlier this year and Anderton is looking forward to getting the rising nine-year-old back to the races.
“Patrick Erin has just come back in,” Anderton said. “He has been in for about a week. He looks well. He did have some feet problems, but they seem to be okay now.
“It’s nice to get up and see him in the morning, not that I am out there much now. Shane is the man that does all the work.”
Patrick Erin had two unplaced runs in autumn for the Anderton’s and they were pleased with his efforts.
“I was rapt with them both,” Anderton said. “His second start he came to the end of it a little bit, but he came through it well.
“We decided to turn him out. We were never going to bring him in until the end of May. He is back in now and hopefully on track.
“We would be looking at the New Zealand Cup (Gr.3, 3200m) with him in November.”
Anderton said he gave his entire race team some time off over the COVID-19 lockdown and he has been pleased with their progress heading into racing’s resumption in the South Island next week.
“We gave them all a few weeks off,” Anderton said. “We are doing a fair bit of hill work with them. We have got a hill up the back of the place. The ones that are in are pretty forward.
“Raise You Ten has come up really well, he will be racing at Christchurch on the 27th, and Slammer has come up well. I am expecting him to go on with it this year.”