Education from the training masters coupled with a drive to succeed ensured Shane Stockdale has all the skills and experience required to get the best out of every horse that enters his stable.
Stockdale grew up around horses, starting with grounding in the pony club scene - where many of racing’s greats started – while his father and uncle were both successful trainers in the Gippsland area while Shane was growing up.
Shane left home at 15 to head to South Australia to work as part of the Hayes dynasty at the famous Lindsay Park operation. In his nine years at Lindsay Park, Shane literally did it all.
Stockdale was involved with all aspects of preparing racehorses – breaking in, pre-training and riding track work – in a period in which he was promoted to foreman, meaning he was lucky enough to work with such Lindsay Park superstars as the great Cox Plate and Japan Cup winner Better Loosen Up and the Melbourne Cup winner Jeune.
Stockdale worked with another marvellous performer when he returned to Victoria to work with the ‘stallion maker’ Rick Hore-Lacy with the multiple Group 1 winner Redoute’s Choice in the trainer’s stable.
Shane moved further down the Mornington Peninsula to work for the late, great Jim Houlahan where his time with the training marvel also took in riding as an amateur in point-to-point races.
Getting his own trainer’s licence enable Stockdale to put all of the knowledge gained from experience learning from the great trainers as he established a successful multi-faceted business breaking in, pre-training and training horses to perform at their best.
The stakes performer Kwassa Kwassa is the perfect example of Stockdale’s ability to get the very best out of a horse. Nobody wanted Kwassa Kwassa as a yearling and he only fetched $2000 as a yearling but Shane saw something in him and extracted that ability out of the little gelding, preparing him to win on debut at Moonee Valley.
Kwassa Kwassa then gave Stockdale a thrill when he strode to victory down the Flemington straight before the sprinter returned to run a smart second at Listed level as a three-year-old on his way to amassing more than $200,000 in prizemoney.
As the Kwassa Kwassa story shows, Shane Stockdale gets the best out of all horse in his care.