Racing lost another of its great characters with the passing this morning of retired Taranaki trainer Bob Sharrock.
His death at age 77 followed several years of indifferent health and
came less than three months after farewelling one of his best mates,
legendary horseman Baggy Hillis.
“I reckon Dad and Baggy will be having one together right now,
talking about all the good times,” commented Sharrock’s son Allan when
he spoke to www.theinformant.co.nz this afternoon. “He hadn’t been too
well for a while, but he slept well last night and then slipped away
peacefully just after 10 this morning.”
Sharrock’s lifetime involvement in racing included training until
1998, a decade after the horse rated his best on the flat, Kairau Lad,
won the Gr. 2 JJ Liston Stakes at the Melbourne spring carnival. Others
he prepared included the leading three-year-old filly Rampage Queen and
smart racemare Mirikau Lass, while the best of numerous jumpers was
Tawhiti Road. After a flat career that included success in the
Parliamentary Handicap, he excelled over jumps with wins in the Great
Northern, Wellington, Sydenham and Brighton Hurdles.
On top of his training achievements, Sharrock gave plenty back to
racing administration. He was a long-serving executive member of the New
Zealand Trainers’ Association, which included chairmanship of the
organisation and representation on the Board of the code governing body,
while he also served as a committee member on his local racing club.
In retirement he continued to a take a close interest in the family
stable, which he handed over to his son and protégé. In partnership with
a group of friends he raced the outstanding mare Shez Sinsational,
whose 12 wins were headed by the Gr. 1 Auckland Cup, NZB Spring Classic,
Zabeel Classic and Darci Brahma International Stakes.
“The greatest gift I gave him was to train Shez Sinsational,” said
Allan Sharrock. “He gave me a lifetime experience and to pay him back
like that meant so much.”
Bob Sharrock’s funeral will take place at New Plymouth racecourse next Monday, with an early afternoon time to be confirmed.
Courtesy of Dennis Ryan, The Informant