Shennan back after more than 20 years
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
It's been more than two decades - but Peter Shennan is back training, officially.
The 70-year-old has decided to once again take out a trainer's licence - 22 years since he last held one.
"I thought I'd give it a nudge," says Shennan, who is a regular at the Lavros Lodge training establishment on the outskirts of Christchurch. Set up by businessman and harness racing identity Kypros Kotzikas (of Iraklis fame), it's the same facility trainers including Regan Todd and Shennan's old mate Russell Kennedy use.
"I'm there every morning seven days a week," he says.
He helps out with general duties around the stables, and drives a couple of horses in work, including his own trotter Lavra Segil.
Kennedy has been the official trainer - now Shennan will take over.
"There are two reasons for it really, Russell's not getting any younger," he jokes, "and I've also got another horse I've just qualified so it makes sense."
Hanoi Franco qualified at Rangiora last Wednesday. Bred by Spreydon Lodge, she is a five-year-old mare by Tintin In America out of Heraldic Franco.
Now semi-retired, Shennan trained in his own right from Don Bannan's stables in Yaldhurst from 1995 to 2000. He had 36 starters in that time, with his first and only winner being Tartan Lustre at Kaikoura in 1998.
In the 1970s he worked at Roydon Lodge with legendary studmaster and trainer Fred Fletcher.
"Fred is a top man, you just learn so much from someone like him."
Roydon Lodge is synonymous with the great Sundon. Fletcher trained the trotter to 27 wins before he then became a champion sire to million dollar earners like Sundon's Gift and One Over Kenny.
It's appropriate then that Shennan's sole trotter is by the super sire.
"She's only had three starts," says Shennan of Lavra Segil , "but she had a wind problem and I'm hoping to have her at the workouts in three or four weeks."
While he's back as trainer he says there's no chance he'll jump into the sulky on race day.
"No - I'm too old for that."