Day At The Track

12yo still putting his name up in lights

05:00 PM 11 Sep 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Colin and Michelle Godden and driver Tayla French with Lights and Music,Harness racing
Colin and Michelle Godden and driver Tayla French with Lights and Music after his second successive win
Maryborough HRC photo

Where there's lights and music, there's always bound to be plenty of action, even in ageing legs!

12-year-old pacer Lights And Music has been turning it on recently and is right in the harness racing spotlight in country Victoria.

The bay gelding, trained by dairy farmer Colin Godden with his wife Michelle, at Nanneella, a stone's throw north-east of Rochester, will be lining up for a hat-trick of wins at his next outing.

Lights And Music (Jet Laag USA-Computerize NZ (Stand Together USA) is owned by Godden and his son James and landed the money at Echuca last week then followed up with a Maryborough success on Monday afternoon.

Despite the impressive style of his Echuca victory in 1.57-5 (after coming three wide late for reinswoman Abbey Turnbull) punters failed to "hear the music at Maryborough", with the old timer again starting as a generous $19.90 chance.

"He's actually been doing a pretty good job over the past few months because he hasn't been getting a lot of luck," Godden said.

"But the girls have driven him well at his past two and things have gone his way a bit, which you need these days."

Turnbull has forged a great association with the horse with four wins, a third and a fifth from six drives, but was unavailable at Maryborough.

"Abbey had an exam at university and while she was disappointed she couldn't make it, she was excited for Tayla French to take the drive," Godden said.

"Tayla has had a few goes on him for a second and a fourth, so it was fantastic for her to get a win on him. They'll pair up again at Bendigo on September 18 in a race that's restricted to drivers who haven't more than 10 lifetime wins."

Besides Turnbull and French, many other Victorian junior drivers have a soft spot for the consistent and reliable "Jimmy" as he's known, who's given many emerging drivers race experience over his long career.

Josh Duggan has won six on him and his fiance Monique Burnett, two. There's also been Tiana McMahon, Jack Laugher and Rhys Nicholson, one win each. Other juniors to have taken the reins include Kima Frenning, Ryan Duffy, Brad Chisholm, Lisa Bartley, Zac Phillips and Connor Ronan.

Godden said along with a change of luck, a variation of the pacer's training regime perhaps also contributed to his resurgent form.

"I used to swim them in a huge dam, but Jimmy would get quite petrified and start to panic," Godden said.

"We decided to put a water walker in eight months ago and he loves it, so we don't do too much else with him now. It's taken the pressure off his joints and certainly given him a new lease of life," he said.

"Our son James is an engineer, so he designed and constructed it. It's a bit over a metre deep and we have them going about power walking speed, and occasionally spin them around the opposite way. Going back against the 'current' really spikes their heart rate."

The Godden family purchased Lights And Music for $1500 after he was sent by South Australian owners to be broken in by friend, veteran Elmore horseman Max Wishart.

"He was a weedy, little fellow and the people who had first option decided against a purchase," Godden said.

"We heard about it and ended up with him and after he had six months in a paddock, he showed us very early on that he could run.

"Max helped us out a great deal. He drove him a lot at home and later we would fast work at his place. We raced him as a 2yo in March, 2010, and I drove him to thirds at Echuca and Charlton.

"We put Daryl Douglas on at Maryborough and they won; he then had a spell and I drove him when he came back at Echuca, and happily landed the money."

Godden has lived all his life in the Goulburn Valley community of Nanneella-the word thought to be an Aboriginal name for a local creek. The area was first settled as a pastoral run in the late 1800s and is today a mainly dairy-farming community with a population of 400.

"We milk about 280 cows but don't have much water and feed is becoming very costly. Michelle always says harness racing is our outlet and our fun, because the dairy industry isn't looking all that flash at present," he said.

And Lights And Music has been a reliable distraction for the popular and well-liked family, winning 27 races and 63 placings for over $160,000 in stakes.

"He's a bit cranky at times - he'd rather bite you than say hello - but that's about his only vice. He's always been a nice horse and I doubt there's been a year gone past where he hasn't won for us," Godden said.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: