Day At The Track

A sparkling victory for LJ

08:00 AM 09 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Lance Justice,Harness racing
Lance Justice coasts to victory with trotter Blue Sparkler at Bendigo last night

Champion Melton harness racing trainer-driver Lance Justice has achieved it all over the years.

But last night at Bendigo, he secured a win that is sure to always be special.

Justice was seen at his best to come up trumps in the eighth running of the $10,000 Oxley Feed Mill Invitational Veteran Drivers Trot- the highlight on the 10-race program.

The wily horseman combined with Blue Sparkler (Danny Bouchea-Argyle Grace (Lawman) to score a comfortable win for Ballarat trainer Emma Stewart.

Competitors in the feature event have been outstanding ambassadors of the sport over many years, including such legends as Brian Gath, Geoff Webster, Ginger Gleeson, Jim O'Sullivan, Mark Hayes, Debra Wicks-Moss, Glenn Conroy, Noel Shinn and Graeme Whittle.

Gath, who lives at nearby Longlea, had been victorious in two of the past three races including defeating Justice last year.

"I was thrilled to get the call-up last year and got rolled by Brian Gath. I thought I was the winner until he swooped. So it's fantastic to now make amends," Justice said.

"Competing in this event is one reason I'm still driving-I seriously thought about giving it away a month ago," he said.

"I was offered an invitation in this event again, then the guy at Wayville in Adelaide rang me about competing at their special meeting next month.

"I won that last year, so I thought I'd better go back again for another crack!"

Justice is still in Victoria's top three reinsmen, behind Chris Alford and Gavin Lang and has more than 3400 winners on his record.

"I'll weigh up my options after that. I've had a good time of it."


Lance Justice

It was a significant night for honouring harness racing greats at Bendigo, which is home to the Victorian Harness Racing Museum, with the club hosting the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame awards ceremony.

Edgar Tatlow was inducted as the eighth Legend of the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Mr Tatlow's Derby Lodge dominated Australian trots, producing 13 Inter Dominion winners and the horse he stood at stud, Globe Derby, was elevated to Legend status in 2015.

Mr Tatlow is in the elite company as an industry "legend". Previous inductees include Gordon Rothacker (2012), Maori's Idol (2013), George Gath (2014), Popular Alm (2016), Vin Knight (2017) and Bill McKay (2018).

At the awards ceremony, there were also six inductions to the Hall of Fame:

Horse inductee: Gyro

Horse inductee: Noble Scott

Trainer-driver inductee: Alice Laidlaw

Trainer-driver inductee: Ken Pocock

Trainer-driver inductee: Dick Lee

Associate: Harry Holmfield

Current-day reinsman Greg Sugars was awarded the inaugural 'Fan Favourite' award and John Azzopardi was awarded the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association Award.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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