Branching Out

Young trainer opens his doors

Gareth van Zyl (photo: Gold Circle)

Gareth van Zyl (photo:  Gold Circle)

Gareth van Zyl took the bold step of going out under his own name at the beginning of last season, striking out as the private trainer to Brian Burnard.

Northern Storm (photo: Gold Circle)

Gavin, Gareth and Kirsten lead in Northern Storm and Anton Marcus (photo: Gold Circle)

He made his first day at the office one to remember when saddling Northern Storm, the first horse under his own name, who came home lonely under Anton Marcus on Friday, 28 October 2016.  A little over an hour later, Celtic Captain made it a debut double, winning the Listed Jonsson Workwear Michaelmas Handicap under Warren Kennedy.  As first days at the office go, he knocked it out of the park.

Gareth closed off a very satisfactory first season with 25 winners from 182 runners (a win strike rate of 13%, putting him alongside the likes of Justin Snaith, Joey Ramsden, Dean Kannemeyer, Charles Laird and Candice Dawson).  His place percentage of 57% put him alongside Ormond Ferraris and Geoff Woodruff on the national table.

With a solid start under his belt as private trainer to Brian Burnard, Gareth is widening his net to become an open trainer, while Brian will be diversifying his racing interests.

“I am very appreciative of the help Brian gave me in getting established,” Gareth told the Sporting Post.  “Being Brian’s private trainer gave me the incredible opportunity of starting out with a quality string that allowed me to achieve success that would have been impossible if I was starting on my own.  Brian is a good businessman and taught me good business sense.  Training 25 winners for the season also helped me grow in confidence.  I obviously believed in myself before I stepped up to the challenge, but the results are there to confirm that I am capable and that the faith Brian had in me is justified – which is why he gave me the chance in the first place.  My stats were very strong, particularly towards the end of the season and that gave me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Gareth will complete his tenure as Brian’s private trainer at the end of August.  “Brian will be leaving some of his string with me and diversifying and spreading the rest.  The timing has worked out really well.  I had a very good National 2YO Sale and am very blessed to have acquired 7 horses there, and still have shares available in a couple of them.”

“I am very excited to be taking the next step and look forward to get going in my new capacity as an open trainer.”

If anyone is interested in discussing Gareth’s 2YO sale purchases, or to enquire about joining the yard, please contact him via [email protected]

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