Te Awamutu College old boy Andrew Forsman is living his dream as a horse trainer in Cambridge.
When Ladynadel won at Ellerslie on January 14 she presented Forsman with his 500th winner — achieved in just five full seasons.
Training in partnership with Murray Baker has helped. And even Bart Cummings, who turned out to be not too bad at training, did not produce one winner in his first two seasons of training.
And it all comes down to fate.
Forsman did a course at university in Auckland studying television photography and had no real idea what he was exactly looking for as a career.
"I was studying and wasn't sure if I wanted to go into film or television and had no set ideas."
He needed extra money and started working early mornings at Baker's Cambridge stable.
"I had a loose interest in racing through my family going back, but if you ask me did I have an idea I might become a trainer, absolutely not at all."
Fate can be quirky and, 500 winners later, Forsman has not one regret, but it's been hard work.
As they say, the dictionary is the only place where money comes before work.
As much as 35-year-old Forsman appreciates the opportunity Baker has afforded him, the feeling is mutual.
"Andrew has a great grasp of it [the racing industry])," said Baker.
"He is an excellent communicator with our clients.
"I am very fortunate to have one of the really prominent emerging trainers standing alongside me."
The training partners are proud of their premiership record.
"With 107 winners last season we were short of our record of 114 the previous season, but we produced 19 stakes winners in New Zealand and five in Australia, which we've been told is a record," said Baker.
Forsman has spent one year behind a Trackside Television raceday camera and one highlight trumps the rest.
"Buying Jon Snow on behalf of a syndicate for $65,000 and seeing him go on and win $2 million and the Derby in Sydney has been very special," he said.
Murray Baker's son Bjorn, rocking to great heights in Sydney's training ranks, was approached by a group of New Zealand mates to buy a horse for them.
"They didn't want it trained in Australia because they wanted to see it race, so Bjorn told them to approach me to buy a horse on their behalf."
Baker and Forsman had the Midas touch on December 27 with a hat-full of winners. The champion Cambridge trainers enjoyed a four-timer at the Rotorua meeting and with a hat-trick at New Plymouth they celebrated their most successful day in terms of individual winners.
"I thought that if we didn't get two or three winners then I would be disappointed, but we had a lot of luck and everything panned out," said Forsman. "It was just one of those days when it all went right. It's been great."
True Enough, Princess Sapphire, Mental Telepathy and Ladynadel comprised their winning Rotorua quartet with Desert Storm, Break My Stride and Mighty Power successful at New Plymouth.
"We came in to the day knowing we had some good chances, but in this game things have to go your way and they did." said Forsman.
Baker and Forsman prepared 107 winners to win last season's premiership and have now advanced their current tally to 72. They have been busy looking at yearlings for this year's Karaka sales.
"It's a pretty exciting time of the year," said Forsman.