Last year 26-year-old Christchurch-born Amanda Grieve returned to Australia after serving an 'apprenticeship' with master NZ horseman Tony Herlihy.
Last night at Lord's Raceway Bendigo, Grieve let everyone know she was in business as a trainer, harnessing up her first race winner, Tandias Bromac in the Empire Stallions Super Series 4yo Vicbred mares, 1st heat.
The Thompson Bloodstock owned daughter of Art Major that stems from the same family as Bendigo great Mother Courage led all the way to win the Stakes heat impressively for driver Chris Alford in a MR of 1.58.1 for the 2150 metre distance.
Glenferrie Shuffle (Jodi Quinlan) charged home for second with Im Smouldering in third place.
But the night belonged to former Dean Braun stable employee Grieve, a young lady described by Herlihy who was her boss and mentor for 8 years as "one of his most valued workers.
"Grieve has had plenty of good teachers including her father Paul and and on leaving school she had a good grounding with Paul Fitzpatrick in New South Wales and with (Uncle) Dennis Wilson.
Greive went to NZ to watch Elsu win the 2005 Inter Dominion at Alexandra Park and got a job with Herlihy where she had many highlights working at his Ardmore barn.
"I got to work with so many good horses like Western Dream, Ohoka Punter and of course One Over Kenny. She was my favourite," Grieve told harnesslink.
Grieve did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work with One Over Kenny and rated her second Rowe Cup win as a career highlight. "She was also the first trotting mare to win $1 million. I loved that horse. I'll never forget her," Grieve said.
Grieve has also worked as a starter's assistant for six years and on premier nights can be seen leading the horses back into the bird cage.
Grieve prefers training to driving but she has had seven drives without saluting. Her father Paul trained eight winners in seven seasons between 1984 and 1998. Mum Katie and dad,
Paul are proud as punch about their daughter's success. " Dad & I are very proud of you," Katie Grieve posted on facebook after the win.
Meanwhile, recently licenced trainer Amanda Turnbull also notched up her first winner last week.
Turnbull, New South Wales’ leading driver, took out the Dunlop Super Dealer Pace at Charlton last Monday with four-year-old Highview Conall.
By David Alfred (Bendigo Harness Racing)