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Top stakes tally in 23 seasons

(Brian and Shane Anderton)

White Robe Lodge trainers Brian and Shane Anderton amassed a personal best $676,417 in stakes for the 2015-16 season ending on July 31, one of several highlights for the North Taieri training and stud operation during the season.

The total is an increase $72,597 on last season. The stable won 39 races and gained 78 minor placings and finished tenth in the national premiership. It was the 23rd season in partnership for Brian and Shane. The stable won the $75,000 New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton with High Forty in August and the group three South Island Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes with Coulee on the same track in April. High Forty (by Danzighill) and Coulee (by Gallant Guru) were both bred at WRL. Coulee was ridden by the stable apprentice Jake Lowry who had won the gr three Winter Cup on Timy Tyler. Tommy Tucker won two listed $50,000 races for the stable - the Timaru Cup and Easter Cup at Riccarton with Lowry the rider.

Brian was awarded the officer of the NZ Order of Merit in the 2016 New Years Royal Honours list for his services to the racing industry.

The WRL domiciled Gallant Guru is the leading South Island-based sire for the season with 37 winners of 58 races and $826,714. He was seventh on the National sires' list for individual winners; eighth for total races won and 17th in stake earnings. He also sired winners in Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore during the season.

WRL sold the top priced yearling at the South Island yearling sale in Christchurch in April - a colt  by Raise The Flag - Legal Note for $52,000. The stud had an outstanding sale, with 15 lots sold for an average of $26,266.

Ghebellines, who joined WRL in the spring of 2015, served 94 mares is his first season.

Courtney Barnes completed her apprenticeship with WRL in January with 92 wins and $1,234,000 in stakes. She remained with the stable. Shankar Muniandy, a WRL jockey, rode Gold Leaf to win over hurdles at Wingatui in June at his first jumps ride.

Brian and Shane both rated the win of High Forty in the National as their highlight.

"It was the seventh win in a National (four steeples and three hurdles) for White Robe Lodge," said Brian.

High Forty resumes steeplechasing in the Koral at Riccarton on Saturday after racing over hurdles. "I couldn't be more pleased with him. He has had the preparation with a race every other week. I don't think he needs the run but if he does it will clean him up nicely for the National."