Pair now kings of Wagga cups
10th May 2012, Sport, David Polkinghorne. Canberra Times Photo by Colleen Petch. (R) Norm Gardner and (L) Frank O'Sullivan with there Wagga Cups at Norm's stables at Thoroughbred Park. Photo: colleen petch
They've been mates for 30 years and Norm Gardner and Frank O'Sullivan are now the cups kings of Wagga Wagga.
Gardner took out the listed $140,000 Wagga Wagga Cup (2000 metres) with Coliseo last Friday, while O'Sullivan's Marooned saluted in the $20,000 Wagga Pacers Cup (2165m) the next day.
Fittingly, the dynamic duo now hold both cups from Wagga - Gardner's home town, which he left in 1978 to work in Canberra as a gas fitter, which is how they met.
O'Sullivan, an electrician, worked with Gardner in those early days and their friendship blossomed.
Horses have been a part of the pair's lives when Gardner bought into a couple of pacers with his mate.
Aceetee, Mister Blue and Just Plain Crazy emerged from the pair's partnership and they all won in Sydney.
And it's all thanks to Gardner's wife Diane, O'Sullivan said.
''His wife Di was real keen on getting a trotter and she used to nag him every day and said, 'get that Frank to get us a trotter','' O'Sullivan said.
''I reckon we waited for about three years, didn't we Norm? She nagged me all the time, 'when are you going to get one?'.''
''I bred one and I said to Di, 'I finally got you one, you can come out and look at him, I'm trialling him on Monday night.
''And that's how we started. I bred him and Norm bought a share. And he was a super horse.''
That was Aceetee, who beat Our Sir Vancelot at Harold Park in 1995.
Our Sir Vancelot won a record three-straight Inter Dominions and accumulated more than $2 million in prizemoney.
Gardner started out as a jockey and has slowly built up his stable to almost 50 horses, which means he doesn't have time for trotters any more.
Gardner has just one runner today at the eight-race meeting at Canberra's Acton track - Devil's Watch - in the Benchmark 55 Handicap (1280m).
While O'Sullivan will send Marooned around again at Goulburn on Monday.