Day At The Track

Rocky lands knockout punch

01:52 PM 25 May 2020 NZST
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Rocky Creed,Harness racing
Rocky Creed

Rocky Creed’s victory in the TAB Riverina Championship Final was another all in the family affair replicating the team effort in the Western Region Final.

The McPherson family who have wide ranging vocations of logging truck driver, nurse and Bunnings worker combined to cause an upset and deliver a dream come true with Rocky Creed at Wagga on Friday.

Rocky Creed even starting in the $100,000 TAB Riverina Regional Final on Friday afternoon was the career highlight for trainer Chris McPherson and his brothers and fellow owners Shane and Scott McPherson.

The fact he shocked harness racing punters by winning it is still sinking in for Chris McPherson.

“We can’t believe it,” said Albury-based McPherson.

“I had never even had a group one starter before let alone a winner.

“With us drawing the second line and Whereyabinboppin (the $1.10 favourite) drawing the front we considered we were running for second or third.”

But as racing can so often deliver the favourite was caught parked outside the leader and the 1:54.4 mile rate for the 2270m didn’t assist thus leaving it to Rocky Creed to deliver the knockout punch in the hands of driver Thomas Gilligan.

Gilligan is also McPherson’s farrier and that connection sums up the Rocky Creed story.

“We all chip in to help out here,” said trainer McPherson

“I work him a lot of the time but I drive a logging truck for a job so my brother Scott helps out but he also has a full time job as a nurse.

“And our nephew James, who works at Bunnings, also pitches in with the eight horses we have here and he usually drives Rocky at the races.

“But he wasn’t licenced to drive in a group one race so Tom, our farrier, got the job of driving him.”

The Riverina final was the second of the four $100,000 regional finals run across NSW and McPherson was inspired by fellow part-timer Malcolm Hutchings training Terryrama to win the Bathurst final on Wednesday night.

“I was reading about Malcolm and their win on Wednesday at Bathurst and I thought, good on them, small time blokes getting a group one.

“I even allowed myself to think, jeez, it would be great to be part of something like that. But I didn’t think it would actually happen. Now that it has wow what a feeling.”

“So we got home after the races and stayed out at the stables celebrating till 2am, sitting around the fire laughing. I still can’t believe it happened.

“But it is great these races were put on in the regions for people like us to at least have a chance and I must thank the TAB and Harness Racing New South Wales for continuing with the Championships.”


Harness Racing New South Wales

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