Day At The Track

Blake chasing his dream

01:12 PM 11 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Blake Micallef is focusing on his driving career, Harness racing
Blake Micallef is focusing on his driving career.
Amanda Rando photo

THERE are very few families who are more passionate about harness racing than the Micallef clan, who are based just outside of Young.

Since moving to the “Cherry Capital” where they have raised their family, David and Rachel have been the driving forces behind the Young Harness Racing Club.

And there is good reason they are now keen to take a step back from the running of the club and that is to give their son Blake every chance to make a name for himself in the sport, primarily as a reinsman.

Blake was really making an early impact, picking up drives at many of the country venues until the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated regionalisation of racing, slowing down his opportunities to chase drives.

Still, young Micallef has managed to drive plenty of winners throughout the season with many trainers keen to place him on their horses.

“I am about to go full-time driving and working alongside Dad and Mum in a few weeks when I wrap up my apprenticeship in carpentry,” said Blake.

“I have to say from a very young age, my passion and desire was to be a reinsman and work with the horses. 

“But when the time came to leave school, my parents and I thought it would be a good idea for me to gain a trade to have something to fall back onto should things not work out with the horses.

“With that now behind me, I want to give harness racing a real honest crack and I am fortunate to have my family to support me.

“We have a growing number of horses in work and we hope to have as many as 30 to train by the New Year.

“Young is very central, so I can get to plenty of tracks and I am prepared to travel to make myself available to trainers to take drives, such is my desire to make it in the game.” 

Micallef will head for Leeton tonight, where he has four drives.

“I am driving three for Terry Powter and I feel all of them are strong chances,” said Micallef.

“Terry is a good trainer who always has his horses fit and ready to roll.

“My other drive is on Ultimate Risk, which I won with last start. 

“From barrier one I am hoping to lead and give them something to chase.”



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