UDR Brian

UDR Brian

Bruce Stewart

27th September 2020

Mixing with some of the biggest players in harness racing, training a Group winner in his first season, feeling the pressures of training a champion pacer – all of these have made Southlander Brian O’Meara one of the province’s most successful trainers.

Mike DeFilippi, Lynnette and Brian O’Meara with Ray Taiaroa and Dave Edwards after Naval Officers win in the New Zealand Derby

He’s had remarkable success with colts and few if any, could match his strike rate (UDR).

Not only has he had a good handful of top horses in his stable over the thirty four years he’s held his training license but he’s had a lot of very good horses in the middle to high assessment range as well.

Christian Cullen, Tuapeka Knight and Tight Connections were the headliners, but when we add Really Honkin, Trident, Cigar, Captain Cavalla, Oscar De La Hoya, Hone Heke and Spirit Of Zeus we can see why O’Meara has won over three million dollars in stakes, with just over a thousand runners.

He was a late comer to the industry when he started training in 1985 on his farm at Spurhead, which is located between Woodlands and Edendale in Southland. But prior to his training career he’d had success as an owner, winning the 1976 Kindergarten Stakes with Arden Bay and having a share in Cup class pacer Quiet Win. Trained by Mike DeFillipi, Quiet Win won twelve races, finished second in the 1982 Pan Am Mile won by Bonnies Chance, third in the 1982 New Zealand Cup beaten by Bonnies Chance and Armalight, and third in the 1983 Pan Am Mile.

O’Meara also had moderate success with Ho Ho King and Arden Chief. Ho Ho King won the 1975 New Zealand Metropolitan Two Year Old Stakes beating Main Adios and Tarport Toby.

The Edendale district where O’Meara trained was renowned as a great nurturing area for young stock and within close proximity of his Spurhead base were two of the country’s leading trainers of juveniles in Alex Milne and Bud Baynes.

“That’s helped me get started. I watched old Alex and young Alex too as well as Henry Skinner. I’d played a lot of sport and had my own ideas about training. I was always a great fan of the way Arthur Lydiard trained. Always having a level of basic fitness and timing your races right,” he said.

At a young age O’Meara played age group rugby for Southland and was part of a record breaking team at St Kevin’s College in Oamaru.

“I played senior rugby when I was seventeen. I probably didn’t take it seriously enough when I came back from St Kevin’s. Robin Archer (Southland and All Black first five) wanted me to go and play at Edendale so I could be an understudy to him. In those days you didn’t leave your own area. No one would talk to you if you left Woodlands and went to Edendale.”

However he was tempting to make the shift, as Edendale was the home of virtually the whole South Island backline.

“Tait, Archer, Archer, Townsend, Ray Todd, Johnny Ellis and my brother-in-law Lloyd Ashby played at fullback. It would have been nice to be an understudy in that sort of team.”

From those early days, O’Meara proved he had a good eye for young bloodstock. He bought Trident at the yearling sales and also purchased open class pacer Watbro. He says that over the years he didn’t spent a lot of money on the purchasing of race horses.

“I bought Trident of nine (thousand), Naval Officer was three and a half, Captain Cavalla was four, Panky’s Pacer was seven, and Sailor’s Corner was also seven. I bought these horses pre-yearling sales out of the paddock.”

In his first season of training O’Meara trained fourteen winners from just forty eight starters; an unheard of statistic for a rookie trainer. That season he was second leading UDR trainer (10 winners or more) with a rating of 0.4005, only bettered by more established trainer Frank Cooney (48-12-9-8 0.4097).

Winners that season included Trident, Naval Officer and Really Honkin.

Really Honkin was broken in and gaited by Mike DeFillipi but before he could race he cracked a pastern bone. He was sent south to Alan Devery’s but then broke a pedal bone. Six months later under the care of Dale Cameron he reappeared at the races, winning his first two starts as a three year old.

Naval Officer was O’Meara’s first winner when he won at Addington in August 1984. Trident was Brian’s first Group winner when he took out the 1985 Group Three Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham.

The rich Eastern Southland pastures were appreciated by O’Meara. “That was one of our greatest things. A horse could get over a race if you put him out in a nice paddock.”

In the late 1980s and ‘90s Brian fashioned a remarkable record with outstanding strike rates.

In 1988 he was the leading UDR trainer (with ten winners or more) with a rating of 0.4323 (64-23-6-4). In 1991 he was again the leading UDR trainer with 0.4212 (43-11-11-3) and in 1998 he with 0.4111 (70-20-11-8).

In his thirty four seasons in the industry to date, he’s won eight Group One races, seventeen Group Two and nine Group Three races.

Let’s take a look at some of the bloodstock Brian O’Meara trained that highlights the depth of talent he’s had in his hands.

Christian Cullen

Top of the list of course – the remarkable Christian Cullen, which he bought as a yearling.

“I used to look at horses at David Shadbolt’s. I was around at his place one day and he had about ten yearlings there. I liked this one horse. I asked him what he was by and he told me Soky’s Atom. I’d had a lot by Soky’s Atom and he didn’t look like a Soky’s Atom to me. Anyway we bought him off Paul Bielby for $15,000.”

After his initial purchase O’Meara went about syndicating Christian Cullen who turned out to be an In The Pocket colt out of Pleasant Franco.

“I offered him to Maryanne Steemer and Bernie Marlow who raced Spirit Of Zeus with me but they turned me down and that’s when I offered Ian Dobson a share.”

Christian Cullen was also put through the sale ring at the annual Southland Standardbred Sales run by Wrightson NMA. This was to make him eligible for the Sales Series. He was sent south to be looked after by Brian’s brother in-law Murray Gormack who lived next to the Dennis Brothers at Woodland. The colt was passed in for $10,000.

Initially O’Meara wasn’t too impressed with Christian Cullen.

“You’d pull him up and he’d put his head in the macrocapa hedge. You’d be flat out to get him out of it. I had everyone on the place stopping me from running off. This happened for a few weeks. Eventually he just came out of it and became a beautiful mannered horse. I don’t think many trainers would have left him as a colt. It would have been a hell of a loss to the industry if he was gelded.”

As Christian Cullen began to get his head around training O’Meara began to prepare for his race debut and put a call through to Ashburton reinsman John Hay.

“John drove Trident, Naval Officer and Really Honkin for me. I thought Christian Cullen was going to be pretty smart so I rang him. I always said I’d give him first choice of driving a nice young horse. I said I had this nice young horse coming through. He said ‘Oh yeah, what’s it by?’ I told him In The Pocket which was a first season sire and he said ‘We’ll see. He said what’s it out of?’ I said Pleasant Franco and he went off his head. ‘He said you’re mad, you bastard. I drove her twice and she brought the field down.”

Christian Cullen made his first public appearance at the Addington trials in October 1996 in the hands of Mark Jones and he won by five lengths. His race day debut came a month later, also at Addington where he won again by five lengths, this time in the hands of Peter Jones.

Christian Cullen’s season as a two year old was cut short by injury, but he won all of his five starts including the Welcome Stakes and Sales Series Pace.

The following season as a three year old he won five of his ten starts and earned $302,460.

The wins included the New Zealand Sires Stakes 3yo Final and the $100,000 Round Up 1950 in which he beat the older horses, running the 1950 metres in a 1.58.1 mile rate.

On the back of that performance he received an invitation to the Miracle Mile in Sydney but was a late scratching due to a pre-race testing irregularity. The control fluid was later found to be contaminated.

“That blew me away. I took it pretty hard.”

Court action followed, the charges were thrown out and compensation paid.

Back home Christian Cullen finished his three year old season with an unlucky third to Holmes D G in the Great Northern Derby and he won the Sales Series Pace before an injury ended his season.

As a four year old Christian Cullen’s early season wins included the Ashburton Flying Stakes where he beat Iraklis. That win elevated him to favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup where he went on to win beating Iraklis in 4:00.4, equalling the race record. He was privately timed to run the final mile of the race in 1:53.5.

Christian Cullen winning the 1998 New Zealand Cup – Photo Race Images

Winning connections – Photo Race Images

Three days later he won the New Zealand Free for All, defeating Holmes D G.

He was invited back to Sydney for the Miracle Mile which he won by twenty metres in the hands of Danny Campbell from Tailamade Lombo and Our Sir Vancelot.

He then displayed courage to win the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown in track record time and back home cruised home in 3:59.7 to win the Auckland Cup.

He had two wins at Cambridge before winning a heat on the opening night of the Inter Dominion. This was to be his last win. He was undefeated as a four year old winning all of his twelve starts.

He did come back as a five year old, starting once in New Zealand and three times in Australia, before he was retired.

During his racing career Danny Campbell drove Christian Cullen to win fifteen times, Ricky May five and Peter Jones twice.

At one point during his career some thought was given to racing him in America and Anthony Butt who’d experienced mile racing in the States, thought he would have been more than competitive there.

“Anthony used to do a lot of driving for me and he said to me that the only horse in his lifetime that should have gone to America was Christian Cullen.

O’Meara says like all good horses Christian Cullen had high speed.

“He was timed three times to break 12 seconds for his first furlong. That came from champion trainers. I’ve never used a watch in my whole life.”

Many remember Christian Cullen for his proud gait but his action did cause a few foot problems.

“I trained him in the paddock which quietened him and was a cushion on his feet. He had a very fluent action and I know many Australians thought he was the best gaited pacer they’d ever seen.”

Christian Cullen’s racing record was 31-22-2-2 for $1,249,150.

As a stallion Christian Cullen’s career is another story in itself. Initially O’Meara began breeding from him while he was still racing, with semen collected from the property.

“I stood him for that first season and there wouldn’t have been many stallions that could have done what he did in that first season. He was a special horse alright.”

He left Born Again Christian (1:51.2), Likmesiah ($427,965), Roman Gladiator ($318,022) and Chris Riley ($306,732) as well as a host of other good winners.

He stood for $6,000 which was a high price for a first season stallion in those days.

O’Meara says his breeding career didn’t get off to the best of starts as none of the mares he was bred to in the North Island got in foal.

Despite the slow start Christian Cullen helped revolutionise the New Zealand breeding industry. In all, he left the starters of 22,855 races for 2,767 winners of $35,900,229.

Christian Cullen was New Zealand Stallion of the Year in 2005/2006, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.

His biggest stakes winner was Stunin Cullen which earned $1,015,257 while his biggest race winner was Christian Me with twenty six wins.

Tight Connection

By Soky’s Atom, Tight Connection was purchased for $19,000 at the inaugural 1987 International Year Sale by the Mercenary Syndicate.

He won nine of his ten starts as a two year old including the Group Three Needham Heatley Juvenile Stakes, the Group Two Thames Juvenile Stakes and the Group One New Zealand Juvenile Stakes.

Tight Connection won $283,240 as a two year old.

“Bob Cameron rated him the best horse he drove.”

Tight Connection – Photo Race Images

Tuapeka Knight

Dunedin trainer Kevin Court bought Tuapeka Knight for $25,000 at the 1986 National Yearling Sales.

After he won his first start at Invercargill for Court and driver Earl Swain, O’Meara bought the colt on behalf of the Horseplayers Syndicate for $175,000.

The syndicate had earlier tried to buy Starship, however he was sold to the West Coast based Starship Syndicate for $200,000 two weeks before Tuapeka Knight debuted.

After Tuapeka Knight won every one of his first nine starts and broke three New Zealand records, he was syndicated again, this time to the Knight Syndicate for two million dollars with a stud career in mind.

The Smooth Fella colt’s wins as a two year old included the Group Three Timaru Nursery Stakes, New Zealand Sires Stakes Final and the New Zealand Sapling Stakes, beating Starship in all three races.

His final outing of the season was in the Two Year Olds Championship at Alexandra Park.

“Tuapeka Knight was the first horse to win nine straight two year old races. He got his tongue over the bit in his tenth race and we had to pull him up. That cost us $350,000 because he was chasing a $250,000 bonus.”

The race was won Godfrey which was owned by Southlander Bud Baynes and his daughter Bronwyn Ludke.

“The thing that stands out is that from the eighteen wins those two horses (Tuapeka Knight and Tight Connection) had, they broke thirteen track, race or New Zealand records between them.”

Tuapeka Knight – Photo Race Images

Really Honkin

Although Really Honkin wasn’t Brian’s first winner he was the horse that convinced him to take up training.

“He arrived home broken down after having a couple of trainers. Alan Devery also sent Naval Officer home saying he was cheating. I thought ‘well bugger it, I might as well have a go myself’ so that’s how I got started.”

Dale Cameron was credited with Really Honkin’s first two wins as O’Meara was unable to obtain his training licence in time.

“Stipe Peter McKenzie was caught up sorting something else out at the Trotting Conference and forgot about giving me my licence.”

Really Honkin made an immediate impression when he won at Invercargill. He then won at Wyndham, and after that win, the drama with the training licence was shared very publicly by farrier Charlie Franks in front of everyone in the stand and birdcage that day.

“Charlie used to do the shoeing for me. I’d be the last place he called into on the way back to Mataura so he knew I had Really Honkin at my place. When he won at Wyndham with Dale, Charlie got up on the balcony in the stand and yelled out to Peter McKenzie ‘who the hell do you think trains that horse?”

The comment caused a ripple of laughter and McKenzie took it in good spirits.

Next, Really Honkin was down to start in the inaugural running of the Southern Stakes Final but was scratched. Most of Southland was talking about his clash with rising star Crafty Kooba but it wasn’t to be. Crafty Kooba went out as odds on favourite and won the three year old feature.

Really Honkin reappeared seven months later, winning at Banks Peninsula by half a neck and then nine days later he won a C3-C4 mile at Addington by six and quarter lengths in 1-58.8.

On New Zealand Cup Day in 1984 he showed his class by winning over 2600 metres in a class record of 3-19.6.

Really Honkin winning on Cup Day – Photo Race Images

He was then taken to Australia and in only this seventh lifetime start at Harold Park in the first heat of the Australian Pacing Championships he paced the 2350 metres in 2-56.7 winning by eight metres and breaking the track record.

“Steel Jaw held the record and he took a full second off it. In the final he was only paying $1.50 to win. It was a tremendous field.”

In the final he was involved in an early skirmish before surrendering the lead. He then began to pace roughly and driver John Hay eased him out of the race, to find later he’d broken another pedal bone.

He did return to racing, but unfortunately never reached his full potential. He won eight races from twenty two starts.

Naval Officer

Naval Officer was bought by O’Meara for $3,500 from Grant Sim and was raced by Brian, Ray Taiaroa and Dave Edwards. He was originally trained by Gavin Hampton.

“I couldn’t get him going for a start. It took me a few weeks and I was a bit fitter in those days as I was coaching the Woodland Rugby thirds. I figured out that I had to do everything first with him. First in the box, and feed him first because otherwise he’d kick the boxes.”

Naval Officer’s biggest win was the 1984 New Zealand Derby when he was trained by Mike DeFilippi. It’s a race best remembered for its major crash in which nine horses either fell, were pulled up or lost their driver. Only five runners finished the race.

Naval Officer after his New Zealand Derby win

Trident

Trident won his first start in 1985 at Invercargill as a two year old. He went on that season to win the New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes, New Zealand Welcome Stakes and the $100,000 New Zealand Sires Stakes in Auckland. He won seven of his seventeen two year old starts and was named New Zealand Two Year Old of the Year.

“As a three year old both he and Captain Cavalla won heats of the Sires Stakes. In those days the Sires Stakes Final was held over a mile and it started on the bend at Addington. They drew seven and eight and finished fourth and sixth. I remember Peter Wolfenden (who drove Trident) saying that if we’d had better draws we would have quinellaed the race.”

Trident also ran second to Alba’s Reign in the New Zealand Derby beaten by half a head.

“He was a wee solid horse. Peter Wolfenden thought he was the best two year old he’d driven and compared him with Black Watch. Brian Hancock rated him as the biggest certainty beat in the Miracle Mile at Harold Park (1986).”

In all he won fourteen races including the 1986 New Zealand Messenger where he beat stablemate Captain Cavalla.

“He was a hard horse to get right. He was a bugger to pick up viruses. On his day he was very good.”

Trident and John Hay – Photo Race Images

Spirit Of Zeus

Spirit Of Zeus’s major win was in the 1995 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final for three year olds. He recorded a number of group placings including second to The Court Owl in the Great Northern Derby. From twenty one starts he won eleven races and banked $243,472. From November 1995 until February 1996 he won five races in a row.

“He was a very fast horse. He won the Sires Stakes Final in a New Zealand record.”

Spirit of Zeus winning the NZ Sires Stakes Final at Addington – Photo Race Images

Cigar

Soky’s Atom gelding Cigar was unlucky to come up against champion two and three year old Courage Under Fire but he was still good enough to win the New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes at his first start. He also won the Southern Supremacy Stakes at three.

From forty seven starts Cigar won twelve races and earned his connections $242,905.

“He was twenty seven times first or second in his forty seven starts. Most of that was in classic racing. He would have been a very good horse if he hadn’t run into Courage Under Fire. As a two year old be won the Kindergarten by ten and a half lengths and the Sapling Stakes by ten lengths.”

Bold Sharvid

Bold Sharvid was a readymade racehorse that O’Meara trained to win four races.

“I remember when I got him he was pretty uncontrollable. It took me a while to get him right. He was a pretty smart horse that should have won The Lion Red Mile Grand Final when Tony Shaw drove him. Tony froze on him and didn’t take him out at the top of the straight and he finished under a stranglehold.”

Reba Lord

Reba Lord was another renegade. A Lordship colt out of Aberfeldy he won seventeen races all up – three for O’Meara.

“He was an outlaw when I got him. I remember when he arrived in the truck. Tony Robb who was working for me at the time got carted about three hundred metres down a race.”

When he was in Auckland local horse dentist Vern Trillo looked after Brian’s horses and on one visit he was reintroduced to Reba Lord whom he’d dealt with before.

“He said, ‘I’m not doing him, he’s a killer.’ I said I’d bring him out of the box and then he could do his teeth. He stood back for a while then he came over and he couldn’t believe it. He was as quiet as. I think under my care he would have become a very good horse. I changed things around with him and he became a very kind horse. He was one horse that just clicked with me.”

Captain Cavalla

Captain Cavalla was also bought from Grant Sim. The Midshipman gelding was a model of consistency, winning eight races from fifty two starts. He was placed behind stablemate Trident in the New Zealand Messenger.

“He was a handy horse. He went huge in the Sires Stakes Final (4th)

Sir Ivanhoe

Lordship colt Sir Ivanhoe was another to show potential but he also had a nasty side like a lot of the colts produced by Lordship.

“I let Racheal my daughter train him. She won races with him. She went down to get him one day and he was worked up because he was a colt. He downed Racheal in the paddock and nearly killed her. I sent him off the property. I was going to shoot him.”

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was bought by O’Meara as a young horse before Christian Cullen was on the scene.

“He wasn’t a Cullen, the only reason I bought him was because I knew how good Cullen was and I thought I might as well buy the brother which I don’t normally do, but I liked him enough.”

As a racehorse he finished second to Lennon in the Cardigan Bay Stakes of 2002 beaten a neck before running second to the same horse in the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton but his racing career was cut short by a paddock accident.
“He was running around in the paddock on a frosty morning. He slipped over and cracked his pelvis. That finished him.”

He went on to have moderate success at stud.

Thunder N Lightning

Thunder N Lightning was another promising young horse which O’Meara trained as a two year old. He too was unable to reach his potential.

“I had Cullen and Cigar in Auckland and left Thunder N Lightning with the boys down south. I got them to ship him up but he damaged his suspensory. I don’t know what happened. I started him in the Cardigan Bay Stakes and he won by two and three quarter lengths. He was smart horse.”

He only started once for O’Meara for a win. Three years later he had two more starts for Barry Purdon winning once and finishing second in his only other start.

Sir Nero

Brian thought a lot of of Nero’s BB cold Sir Nero when he was a youngster. He was out of Berry, a half-sister to Really Sly, the winner of five races and Sir Bret which won six.

Bred by Southlanders Irene and Jim Holland Sir Nero’s pedigree was well known to O’Meara as he’d raced Ho Ho King which was out of Eden’s Pride. Eden’s Pride was the third dam of Sir Nero.

“I had him the same year as Tight Connection. We secretly thought he was slightly inferior to Tight Connection. He’d won a trial by twenty lengths with Maurice McKendry. I was getting him treated by a vet and he dropped dead after been treated with iron. That broke my heart because I owned him.”

Sailor’s Corner

The O’Mearas also bought Sailor’s Corner which Brian’s wife Lynnette owned. He never raced here but won eighteen races in Australia and was beaten by a half a neck by Another Party in the 2001 Hunter Cup.

Clearly over the years Brian O’Meara geared up a lot of good horses.

Although he didn’t train many fillies, he did train Gail Devers to win a heat of the Sires Stakes at her first start before David and Catherine Butt took over her training.

“I also trained Oscar Wild for the same owner, Richard Cornelius. He ran third in a heat of the Sires Stakes at his first start. I buggered my shoulder up at one stage and I couldn’t train so I had to give the horses away.”

It was with colts that he had his most success.

“With a good colt, they try a wee bit harder if you look after them. If you knock them around, no. It’s really a patience game. The one thing you can’t buy in a horse is that will to win. You sort of have to make that. If you look after them they try for you.”

Although O’Meara started his career in Southland he spent the majority of his time in Canterbury, and for a period he trained in Auckland. During that time he saw first-hand how race horses can change some people.

“Derek Jones once said to me that most people fall out over a good horse. He said ‘you’ve had so many it’s a wonder anyone talks to you.’ I think being brought up in Southland, a handshake completed the deal. You could shake hands with every bugger in Southland and it would be their word. My word it changes when you get to Auckland and even in Canterbury.”

He noted that the stakes were a lot higher in Auckland. He said one syndicate ended up owing him $350,000 after the New Zealand share market collapsed in 1987.

“I’ve seen a lot of people change after success too, and the value of the horse all of a sudden is inflated. That side of it is sad.”

These days O’Meara has stepped out of the fast lane, training a handful of horses with the stable star at the moment being Di Caprio. The Shadow Play entire has won six races for just twenty starts and is nominated for the New Zealand Cup.

“He’s a very underrated horse. He’s a tremendous stayer. I think he’ll just get better. He broke a sesamoid bone and has only had a few starts in the last eighteen months.

Last season he won the Hororata Cup, Kawatiri Cup (Westport) and Waimate Cup.

“He should have won the Grey Valley Cup but was knocked over. After that he was out for a year and was boxed for eight months. He didn’t have a trial or a workout and went into the Waimate Cup and broke the track record.”

Di Caprio has been in outstanding form this season, running a close second to Classie Brigade in the New Brighton Cup, beaten by half a head.

“When you look at the tape he was half a length in front just after the line. He’s come through the race in tremendous order and I think he’ll improve quite a bit.”

O’Meara’s also developing a couple of young horses including Somebeachsomewhere pacer Mandalay Bay which is out of five win Bettor’s Delight mare On The Town.

“Very powerful horse; lovely pacer. Kerry O’Reilly broke him in and he rated him.”

O’Meara’s daughter Racheal bought Mandalay Bay at last year’s sale for $30,000. He’s closely related to Roman Gladiator.

The other two year old O’Meara is currently training is Princess Meritaten which is by A Rocknroll Dance out of The Princess.

Brian now lives in Rangiora and trains from his stable at Fernside.

Lynnette and Brian’s family have been supportive of his career. Daughter Lisa is a fashion designer based in London, son Paul manages the Nelson and Blenheim branches of Fulton Hogan, and Rachael manages a Freight Solution Company.

All three are interested in harness racing with Paul and Rachael having shares in a number of horses.

The numbers (see below) say it all. Brian O’Meara has had incredible success, not only because he has an eye for good stock, but also because he has a way of encouraging and nurturing horses that brings out the best in them.

Not only has he trained a great champion in Christian Cullen, he’s also trained a host of other very good horses. It’s no surprise his strike rate in the harness racing industry is exceptional.

Naturally the racing has provided it’s share of downs as well as ups for Brian and his family, but that’s the nature of the sport. We hope there’ll be another high this November, when Di Caprio lines up in the New Zealand Cup.

Brian’s Top Sixteen:

  • Christian Cullen (31-22-2-2 $1,249,150)
  • Trident (47-14-8-3 $235,045)
  • Spirit Of Zeus 21-11-2-2 $243,472
  • Tight Connection (11/18 wins for O’Meara)
  • Tuapeka Knight (11 of 12)
  • Cigar (10 of his 12 wins)
  • Captain Cavalla (8 of 8)
  • Oscar De La Hoya (7 wins)
  • Hone Heke (6 wins from 8 starts)
  • Really Honkin (5/8)
  • Holmes Boy (5 wins)
  • Bold Sharvid (4 of 13)
  • Sir Ivanhoe (4 of 6)
  • Hey Jude ( 4 from 18 starts)
  • Reba Lord (3 of 17 wins)
  • Naval Officer (2/6)

Winning Drivers:

John Hay (50), Danny Campbell (37), Anthony Butt (24), Ricky May (16), Robert Cameron (10) and Alan Scobie (9).

Horse Awards:

  • 1984/1985 New Zealand Two Year Old of the Year – Trident
  • 1987/1988 Two Year Old of the Year – Tight Connection
  • 1986/1987 Two Year Old of the Year – Tuapeka Knight
  • 1998/1999 Four Year Old of the Year – Christian Cullen
  • 1998/1999 Horse of the Year – Christian Cullen.

Brian O’Meara’s Bottom line:

  • Lifetime: 1001-213-1309-98 $3,080,340 UDR .3176
  • His biggest season as a trainer: 1999 – 61-22-7-3 $603,543 UDR .4408. The success was led by two horses; Christian Cullen and Cigar.