Merv McQuilkin, a well-travelled former North Islander from Te Kawhata, joined the team at Kentuckiana Lodge in September, 2019.

Merv enjoys the celebration with driver Matt Anderson after Arden Roanake’s win at Addington September 12. (Race Images photo).

“He’s mainly lived overseas and worked as a helicopter pilot, used to be a luxury skipper, has a black belt in Karate, and has trained dolphins in Los Angeles,” Cran said.

“He reckons his cousin is Sonny Bill Williams, so we’ve nicknamed him Sonny.”

“That’s his stable name.”

“Now he’s taken a real shine to training Arden Roanake and loves him.”

Aged 56, Merv has welcomed the change to the equine scene at Kentuckiana Lodge with Cran, Nathan, and the team.