The end of the carnival in Adelaide was to herald the start of a new era for the Tony McEvoy stable and rider Barend Vorster.
McEvoy, who trains in partnership with his son Calvin, was planning to relocate to on-course stables at Ballarat with Vorster to follow from the team’s base Angaston.
The new complex was expected to be completed next month, however Racing Victoria shutdown the project after the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Now McEvoy and Vorster hope to be at Ballarat in September – October at the latest – once building can start again.
“All the stalls are built, all the stables are built, everything is ready to be put up,” McEvoy said.
“They were all pre-built at Swan Hill and just waiting to be stood up and once they get the all clear, it will go up pretty quickly.
“I can’t wait to get there as it will give us a lot more opportunities.
“It’s also an amazing training centre as the results coming from there show.”
South African Vorster has been in Australia since February, 2019, arriving via Singapore, and has been McEvoy’s stable rider in Adelaide.
He got off to a quick start in Australia, riding Sunlight in her win in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington soon after his arrival.
With wife Nikki and son Brendan joining him, Vorster was happily going about his business in South Australia, but didn’t need any convincing the relocate to Ballarat.
Nikki and Brendan moved to Ballarat to start the school year with Vorster expecting to join them four or five months later.
A trip back to Angaston for Easter coincided with a number of COVID-19 lockdowns, which included schools in Victoria closing.
“Brendan has been doing home schooling here,” Vorster said.
“We’ve been waiting for a date when the school is going back which is looking some time in June, so Brendan and Nikki will go back to Ballarat and I will stay here.
“At least I’ve had them here through this ordeal, although it’s not ideal having to pay rent on two properties.
“Luckily racing is going on and we’re getting a few winners.”