NZ trainer gives up on Australian move

Mark Brooks has abandoned plans to set up a gallops stable in Ballarat and is returning to New Zealand to pursue his training career.

Brooks will train in partnership with Missy Browne at Cambridge on the North Island.

He had his first Australian runner from his new Ballarat base in mid-May this year, but failed to have a win with 21 starters.

Brooks went close to going out on a high, with Over the Yardarm finishing a close second to Wells in the $125,000 Crisp Steeplechase, 3900m, at Sandown on Sunday.

He has left Over The Yardarm in Victoria for one more run –  the Grand National Steeplechase in the Ballarat Jumps Festival on Sunday, August 20.

Ballarat Turf Club chief executive officer Lachlan McKenzie said it was disappointing that the relocation had not worked out for Brooks.

“It came as a big surprise.

“It’s extremely disappointing, but we wish him all the best.”

The BTC is in the process of constructing a 35-box training complex on track, which was to have been occupied by Brooks.

McKenzie said the project was about six weeks away from being completed.

He said there had already been new interest in the development from trainers interested in relocating to Ballarat.

McKenzie said while having multiple trainers occupying the stables was a possibility, having one trainer take up occupancy was the preferred option.

Brooks told NZ website Stuff that the people he had been dealing with did not quite come to the party with what was initially promised.

"I don't want to go into detail, but it hasn't quite worked out as planned."