The man with the most to look forward to in New Zealand racing admits one aspect of his immediate future is still clouded.

But if the last 11 months are anything to go by, champion trainer Jamie Richards will find a way.

Richards capped his stunning season by training his 100th domestic winner of the term when Bak Da Master won at Awapuni on Saturday, the first time he has reached that milestone in his short but stellar career.

That puts him 27 clear of Stephen Marsh on the trainer's premiership, which is such a foregone conclusion the TAB paid out on Richards winning the title on Saturday morning - a smart move putting winnings in punters accounts hours before two thoroughbred meetings.


Richards enjoyed ticking off the 100 wins and premiership boxes, even though he could have trained 20 or even 30 more winners had it not been for lockdown.

But as tends to be the case at Te Akau, Richards is already looking forward to next season, one he has plenty of equine ammunition for but also poses some tricky logistical issues.

Te Akau are keen to tackle more Australian races after Richards trained three Group 1 winners there this season and they are working on securing 12 visitors stables at Flemington, while they also have Melody Belle and Probabeel back in Sydney.

But with Covid-19 still a major problem in Victoria in particular and travel restrictions unlikely to end anytime soon, Richards says plans have to remain very fluid.

"We are still very keen to campaign horses in Melbourne and it will happen but we are not sure about some of the details yet," Richards told the Herald.

"We can send a staff member or two to look after the horses, even if they have to go through the quarantine process.

"But as a trainer you want to be able to see your horses and if the restrictions stay in place that is going to be very tricky," says Richards, who on occasions this season flew to Australia for just one or two days to monitor track work.

The quarantine restrictions would also make it impossible for stable jockey Opie Bosson to make weekend trips to Australia to ride, but Richards and boss David Ellis are not thinking yet about who could fill the riding roles for their Australian-based horses.


"That is a long way away so we will worry about that closer to time," says Richards.

"But we have a lot of really nice horses coming up, especially rising three-year-olds and as well as Australia we will have a good-sized team in the South Island from next month too."

** Injured jockey Michael Coleman could be out of hospital in a week after a successful surgery yesterday.

Coleman had his pelvis, which was broken in three places when a horse rolled on him at the trials last Tuesday, reset days after a first surgery on a broken leg on Thursday.

The injuries have put the star rider's career in doubt.