Thanks to everyone that sent feedback on my first Shea's Say a week or so ago. It was great to hear that many of you enjoyed the insight into the stable and to the way I see my business at this point in time.
In that article I mentioned my recent move to Cranbourne and the fact that I now have a two stable operation. To explain why I made this move, we have to go back before we can go forward…
I've always trained from a beach stable at Corinella on the shores of Westernport Bay, not far from Bass where I have spent most of my life. I'm a huge believer in beach work and the benefits of salt water and sand when it comes to getting horses fit, helping to heal injuries, or just keeping them happy and switched on, and I've turned many out of form or broken down horses around because of it.
As good as the beach can be, you need access to a turf surface at some stage to give your horses faster gallops or trials and during my career I've always used Cranbourne. This has been partly because of its proximity to home, but mainly because it is an outstanding facility where many trainers that I have huge respect for have set up their businesses.
I'd always wanted to get permanent access to Cranbourne or to at least try to replicate the track set up closer to home. Recently that took me to Karasi Park, Eric Musgrove's training facility at Coronet Bay, but when an opportunity came up earlier this year to move to Mick Kent's stable at Cranbourne I jumped at it.
Thanks to two of my best owners who bought the property from Mick, a long time mentor to me and my new neighbour at Cranbourne, I now have access to the Cranbourne training facility seven days a week with 30 boxes in the current stable and plans to build another 15.
Throw in a 10-horse walker, and treadmill, new tie-up areas, and some day paddocks, and I've got exactly the set up that I've always wanted with flexibility and opportunity to now improve my own property at Corinella so I can continue to provide a high quality switch up stable for my horses to be trained or freshened up from as required.
I only had to look at the success of Ciaron Maher, Mick Price, and Lee and Anthony Freedman to see the huge advantage that can be had with a dual city/beach stable operation to know that it would be the future of my business. After three months of settling in I haven't changed my mind, the horses are simply thriving.
When you consider the new developments to the Cranbourne track and training centre announced by club CEO Neil Bainbridge last year, I've got no doubt that Cranbourne will be the envy of all other Victorian training centres going forward and I'm thrilled that my stable will be a part of it.