Jockey Grant Cooksley is to enter a training partnership with Bruce Wallace in New Zealand while continuing to ride.
As well as his native New Zealand, Cooksley has ridden with success in Sydney and Asia.
Known as The Iceman for his cool demeanour, Cooksley has combined with Wallace over the years for multiple Group One successes.
In Australia they include the Metropolitan on Lord Revenir, the Futurity on Star Dancer and the Canterbury Guineas on Kingston Bay.
”I’ve thought about training for a while now,” Cooksley told NZ Racing Desk.
”I had a couple of options in Sydney, but it was too early at that stage. I just wanted to concentrate on riding at the time.
“Now this opportunity has come up to train in partnership with Bruce and it’s too good to turn down. If I started on my own I’d have to do it from scratch, but I’ve been given the opportunity to start with an established stable.
“Besides, I’ve had a long association with Bruce and his family. I used to ride a bit for Bruce’s father, Ray, and I first rode for Bruce when I was living in Sydney and he brought over Kingston Bay and Lord Revenir. We’ve had a good run together.”
The 59-year-old Cooksley has won 66 Group One races and although his opportunities are fewer these days, he still enjoys riding.
”I’ll obviously be concentrating on training, but I still plan to ride when I can,” he said.
Wallace is looking forward to the partnership.
”Grant has all the experience as a jockey and he’s passionate with what I want to do,” Wallace said.
”It’s a new challenge for him and I’m sure he’s up to it.’