Hard work pays off for Balfour trainers at Wyndham

By Jonny Turner

Balfour trainers Shane Matheson and Lisa Barrie are enjoying the calm before the storm.

The couple have been enjoying a strong run of success recently which continued when Abadabadoo ran to victory at Wyndham yesterday.

Though their horses are officially trained by Matheson, Barrie is an integral part of their training operation which they run alongside their crutching business.

With summer approaching, Matheson and Barrie’s days are about to get longer as they work on farms across Northern Southland.

With horses to train as well, the couple are in for a busy period.

“We do some really, really long hours, it’s not too bad at the moment because a lot of people have been lambing and tailing, but we start back in December,” Barrie said.

“We go from dusk till dawn and later – we've got outside lights.”

“Our son Tristan's been a major help but he's the way back to Wellington at the beginning of December, so it'll just be Shane and me again.”

Abadabadoo initially joined Matheson and Barrie to have somewhere to be turned out.

But that progressed into the mare being a pacemaker for other horses in the stable, before she was eventually aimed at a return to the track.

Matheson, Barrie and a group of their family members race Abadabadoo on lease from her owner, Jason Enright.

“We threw some shoes on her and jogged her up and Jason said you guys can just race her, so we're racing her,” Barrie said.

“She didn't go too good to start with, so we just used her as a galloping pacemaker and yeah she improved from there.”

Following a mammoth break away from racing, Abadabadoo’s fitness has improved with every run she’s had this spring.

“She was two and a half years away from the racetrack from her first start back,” Barrie said.

“It's taken a bit to try and get her there, but now she's there we will try and keep her there.”

Abadabadoo led throughout for driver Sarah O’Reilly to win. Galleons Future ran into second for the Robert Wilson stable, making it a race quinella for Balfour’s only two licenced horse trainers in race 6.

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