Multiple Group One-winning New Zealand trainer Roger James is to form a partnership with his racing manager Robert Wellwood.
Best known in Australia for the deeds of grand mare Silent Achiever, James will begin the new training venture at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
“I’ve had Ross Taylor, Lance Noble and Leanne Bertling in partnerships in the past and they’ve all gone on to successful levels,” James told NZ Racing Desk.
“Rob’s been with me for going on two years and he’s got a passion for the industry and he’s a very good people person.”
Wellwood, 23, has been around racing from an early age.
“It has been a lifetime dream of mine to be a trainer and it’s come true,” Wellwood said.
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“My grandfather has been a member of the Hawke’s Bay Racing Club for a long time and I used to watch the racing with him.
“Since I’ve become involved he’s sold his farm and has taken shares in a few horses as well.
“As a kid I had huge aspirations of being a top jockey, but my dream was shattered pretty early on when I passed the six-foot mark as an early teen.”
Wellwood’s experience includes a stint at Windsor Park Stud and he also completed completed a Bachelor of Business Analysis, majoring in finance.
“I’m enjoying the more modern approach and enthusiasm Rob brings to the business,” James said.
“The industry is a lot different to when I started off with Jim Gibbs. Results aren’t enough these days and you really have to go out and sell yourself and Rob can do that.
“He’s got a thirst for learning and a formal education that will see him go far.”