It is not every day a trainer gets four new horses stroll through the gate.

It’s even rarer when they are all trotters, especially one a genuine open class force.

But that was the bonus Derek Balle has had to start the new season and judging by his first start with one of his newcomers, Balle’s new association should be a profitable one.

The quartet of newcomers are from majority owner Kevin Walker, who has had great success himself as a trainer of trotters before deciding to farm his horses out to other trainers to concentrate on his business interests.

One of those main trainers was Tony Grayling, who is phasing out of training to take up a role at Woodlands Stud, so Walker decided Balle was the man to take over his going trotters.

Among them is of course Boizel, a Rowe Cup placegetter good enough to beat Stent and Master Lavros at Kaikoura last season.

Balle has only had him two weeks but his thrilled to get him.

“Any time you get a horse like him to train it is a thrill,” said Balle.

“He looks great and has settled in well so the Cup meeting will probably be his big first aim.

“I also have Cool Cobber and he will be aiming at some of the stage races so to have the two of them to travel together to carnivals always helps.

“So it is great to get this sort of opportunity from Kevin and some more nice horses to work with.”

The first runner for the new partnerDerek Balle adds some new weaponry to the arsenal By Michael Guerin ship was a winner too with Bruno Paillard easily overcoming a 30m handicap to win in Walker’s turquoise, yellow and purple colours.

“It was probably the right race for him tonight, dropping back to being off a handicap in a maiden race,” said Balle.

“But he is a bit of a big laid back fella so he should only get better.”

Balle has also taken over an Angus Hall three-year-old filly out of Walker’s former high class mare Lanson named De Castellane as well as a five-year-old Dream Vacation out of the same mare named Billecart Salmon.

As surprising as it was for Balle to have four new stables arrivals of the blue lately, it was even more to see another stable newcomer Debs Pal record one of the fastest times ever for 2700mmobile by an intermediate grade pacer at The Park.

The seven-year-old was claimed for just $5000 recently and while he had gone solid races in his two starts since coming north, his 3:18.8 time week was a stunner.

That is a 1:58.4 mile rate and faster than most Derbys or Messengers won at The Park.


By Michael Guerin
Courtesy HRNZ