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Ballymore Stables unveils new plans for next season

Ballymore Stables’ first Group-race victory for the current season in New Zealand has coincided with the unveiling of plans by Australian-based proprietor Michael Moroney to introduce a new training partner at the Matamata stable next season.

Moroney will be joined by successful and talented horseman Chad Ormsby, who linked as the winning jockey aboard the stable’s Chicharita in the New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (G2) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

Ormsby is the partner of Moroney’s daughter, Aliesha, who was appointed Ballymore’s business manager for New Zealand operations a year ago and the couple recently purchased a property at nearby Piarere.

The 22-year-old hoop, who has ridden over 500 winners both on the flat and over jumps almost halfway through his eighth riding term, has struggled with increasing weight over the past two seasons and will wind down his riding career at the completion of this term.

Ormsby has pre-empted his ambition to train but had hoped to control his weight battle for another couple of seasons in the saddle. However, this season, he has found the task increasingly difficult, often unable to ride under 55.5kg.

Ballymore Stables has been one of the most successful stables in the country for over a quarter of a century, for the past 13 seasons under a series of training partnerships headed by Michael Moroney since he shifted permanently to Melbourne in 1998 and established an Australian base at Flemington.

With his main focus on the Flemington stable and the declining viability of training in his homeland, Moroney has kept a presence here mainly to allow an his daughter the option to transfer her successful equestrian skills across to the racing industry.

Aliesha, a past World Cup dressage event winner and previous New Zealand Junior Dressage Champion, graduated from Waikato University’s Business Management course three years ago and worked for Delloites in Hamilton until joining Ballymore full time this time last year.

For the past two seasons, Ballymore New Zealand has operated in partnership with a past Melbourne-stable foreman, Andrew Clarken and Moroney will support his current partner into a training venture should the Australian wish to strike out on his own account here.

“This decision is certainly no reflection on Andrew’s abilities,” Michael points out. “Andrew has continued Ballymore’s success and, just as Dave O’Sullivan did for me when I went solo 30 years ago, I will provide financial support to help him kick off as a trainer here should he decide to take that course and there’s possible options within the Australian business again for him as well.”

Moroney rates his partner-elect as a talented, young horseman likely to succeed at training. “Chad‘s an all-round horseman with natural skills both in the saddle and on the ground,” Michael says. “He’s had an excellent grounding for training, serving most of his apprenticeship with the O’Sullivans and also with my good friend Russell Cameron, a fellow trainer I have the utmost respect for who praised Chad’s ability and application during his two-years with Russell at Pukekohe.”

The business management, industry knowledge and skills that Aliesha and Chad combine as a couple are seen as vital to the continuing success of Ballymore Stables in New Zealand.

“For a stable to survive under the industry’s current economic conditions, it requires hands-on, multi-skilled operators who can trim costs that are crippling and down-sizing many training operations there,” Michael says. “Initially with the backing of the Ballymore brand, brother Paul’s proven racehorse management and selection, and continuing support of our clients, this young couple should be able to gain a foothold that allows them to eventually take over the operation on their own when, hopefully, the industry at home provides better returns and security for stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, under Clarken’s daily training management, it’s business as usual at the Matamata stable. Chicharita’s success provided the team with its 14th win for the current season, not far from a top-10 position on the trainers’ premiership.

“With almost 30% of the horses we have in training at Matamata owned by Australian clients and here to be educated for the Melbourne stable, we haven’t been serious premiership contenders for a few seasons,” says Michael. ”However, Aliesha and Chad’s involvement signals a long term, continuing commitment by Ballymore to New Zealand racing which should help grow the home-base clientele and regain the stable’s competiveness locally.”

Ormsby has already gained an insight into Ballymore’s training regime during a stint at both Caloundra and Flemington last winter and has been regularly riding training for the Matamata stable since he and Aliesha moved across from Cambridge two months ago.

And, while he will gradually move into the day-to-day stable management alongside Clarken as the season draws to a close, Ormsby intends bowing out of race-riding with the same determination that had made him one of the most sought after senior jockeys in recent seasons.

[05 Jan 12]

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