Up-and-coming trainer Chris Anderson and five-time metropolitan premier Rob Heathcote have united in a move that could see them conquer Brisbane racing.
From May the pair will form Anderson-Heathcote Racing to become one of the largest stables in Queensland.
It’s a move some have tipped will see them in a position to wrestle the Brisbane metropolitan title back from Tony Gollan for the first time since 2012-13.
Training partnerships are slowly becoming the norm rather than the exception across Australia.
Names such as Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig, Waterhouse & Bott, and Maher & Eustace are just some who have combined to form powerful outfits in recent years.
However, building the next mega-stable wasn't the catalyst for the decision to merge the two Eagle Farm businesses.
Heathcote says the main aim is to provide some much-needed work-life balance for both trainers at different spectrums of their careers.
“We don’t have plans to get bigger, we didn’t join for that reason," Heathcote said.
“Sadly, I spent far too much time working while my children grew up around me. Chris has three young children and in essence, that’s how it came about.
“Chris is a good fit for me; he has the smarts, he’s got the hunger and the enthusiasm to want to succeed.”
It has been well documented that Anderson began his career with one leased horse and a dream to build a stable that could match it with some of Queensland’s top trainers.
The former beer salesman trained 48 winners last season and has saddled 29 winners in 2018/19.
He currently sits just outside the top-10 on the metropolitan trainers’ premiership, while Heathcote sits in second-place, 24 wins behind fellow five-time premier, Gollan.
“The fact that we’re at different stages of our career will benefit the new stable,” Anderson said.
“Rob has decades of experience, while I’ve been building my stable over the past seven years.”
When the two do formalize the partnership, Heathcote says they will have just under 100 horses in work.
Situated at different ends of the Eagle Farm training complex, at this stage the plan is to keep both stables in operation flying under one flag.
“We’ve got along well for so long so coming together will reinvigorate things and allow us to pay more attention to detail,” Heathcote said.
“There’s no doubt night racing will take more focus in the coming years and this partnership will allow us to streamline our operations.”