A belief in the direction that the Auckland Trotting Club is taking; and the future of the Franklin Training track; were two major reasons why John Street is relocating Lincoln Farm’s harness racing business from Kumeu to Pukekohe.
Street recently bought the National Bloodstock property on Golding Road right adjacent to the Franklin track.
He is currently spending another $500,000 upgrading the property into a racing stable.
“It’s going to take a couple of months before we can move in because hardly anything has been done on the place for 20 years,'' Street said.
“But I’ve got six contractors working on site now.
The place has up to 60 horse boxes, so we are able to relocate all 30 of our harness horses.
"This also includes 21 rising 2-year-olds.
"It took a bit of time planning and negotiating but we are pleased with the purchase.''
Street said the Lincoln Farms in Kumeu would continue to house broodmares and stallions.
“The property hasn’t sold yet but we are in no hurry, it is serving a very good purpose now."
Street said his team could now just walk through to the Franklin track rather than the current situation where they had to be transported into Kumeu or Alexandra Park to work.
“The Franklin track is in a much better state and is regularly maintained, the boys do a good job out there and I believe it will be improved even more to make it the Auckland Trotting Club’s major training centre.
“The Auckland Club is doing a good job and I want to support them as much as possible.
"We both see Pukekohe as the training centre of the future and personally for us the best place to further our success.
“Ray (Green - trainer) and all the staff will relocate, it will be the same team with Simon Lawson, Maurice McKendry, and Zac Butcher being used as our drivers."
The 69-year-old Auckland businessman who sold his Pak Save Supermarket last year, said he was now spending his retirement developing his thoroughbred and standardbred enterprises.
“We are looking to have 10 per cent of our gallopers race with our trainer Lisa Latta in Singapore, and we will continue to promote our popular harness racing syndicates as well.
“We have virtually sold Beaudiene Boaz to Gary Hall in Perth and the boys in that syndicate invested about $10,000 and made $40,000 each on him.”
“Ian Middleton is overseeing 10 syndicates for us now, and we have got lots of people, especially South Islanders keen to get in.
"I think people are realising now that we don’t keep the horse unless we make money."
Street said he enjoyed syndicating standardbreds – simply because they were not difficult to sell on.
“They are also easy to sell to Australia for a good price if they have or have not met their grade here,” he added.
Meanwhile, Street said it was unlikely he would be relocating to Pukekohe.
“I am very happy here in Half Moon Bay.
Lincoln Farms was the brainchild of Street and his late great mate Graham Blackburn. The company has been in operation for more than three decades having commenced modestly with two horses in 1985 and has now won well in excess of than 300 races and millions in stakes money.
Their greatest victory came via Sir Lincoln in the 2012 Auckland Cup.
Their most tightly assessed horse is 14-win recent Taylor Mile winner, Besotted.
Lincoln Farms has won numerous age races, the most recent of them being Group $150,000 Emerald 2yo Colts and geldings Jewels winner, Beaudiene Boaz.
By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)