Day At The Track

Career milestone for Deni Roberts

05:00 AM 09 May 2019 NZST
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Deni Roberts
Amazing career: Deni Roberts winning her 100th career drive on Hilo Angus at Northam Harness Racing Club on May 3.
Jodie Hallows (Paceway Photos)

Young reinswoman Deni Roberts brought up a major driving milestone when she won at Burwood Park on Friday night behind the Tom Groves trained Hilo Angus.

Punters who backed the horse on fixed odds got odds of $101 about the seven-year-old son of Village Jolt but they would be entitled to feel ripped off as Hilo Angus paid a remarkable $171.40 on the tote and $13.10 for the place.

It was Deni Roberts' 100th winner since she began race-driving in 2015 with her first winner Leftrightgoodnight coming on third August 2015 at Pinjarra and being trained by her mother Sonia Zucchiatti.

She has become just the eighth female driver to reach the 100 wins milestone in Western Australia.

Hilo Angus was the first leg of a race-to-race double for trainer Tom Groves who won the next event, the Peter McNeill Memorial, with Affluent Bell.

Kellerberrin based Groves has been a stalwart of harness racing for more than 50 years and he has trained more than 440 winners with the bulk of them coming in the North Eastern Districts.

Affluent Bell was bred by Albany based breeder Harry Capararo from the good broodmare Shoneer Lobell.

Capararo, who also bred Friday night's Gloucester Park winner Im Soxy, passed away early last week and was buried in Albany on Monday.

Capararo has bred more than 500 winners in the past 30 years including the Group One winners Rich And Spoilt, Adda Cool Mil, Silver Tail Adda and Cool Adda.

The Northam Harness Racing Club's next meeting will be held at Burwood Park on Saturday, May 25.

Friday night a big night for the girls on outsiders

While Deni Roberts was making her own piece of history at Northam on Friday night, 15 minutes earlier Pinjarra-based Jocelyn Young took out the Group One WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on the $37.40 outsider Has No Fear.

Has No Fear is trained at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, for Gloucester Park Harness Racing's Trotsynd Number 12 Syndicate, and he engaged Young for the drive when regular driver Gary Hall Jnr elected to drive the short priced favourite Dracarys.

While Dracarys burned early, Young settled Has No Fear near the rear before making her run at the 500 metres mark to hit the front turning for home and then held the finishing burst of Delightfulreaction.

Jocelyn Young became just the fifth Western Australian woman to drive a Group One winner in Western Australia and she and her father Kim share a unique record as the only father/daughter to win the WA Oaks.

Jocelyn Young's grandfather Ron Young trained and drove the 1976 WA Oaks third placegetters Pennington while her uncle Shane Young finished third in the 1994 WA Oaks with Chance To Strike for trainer Les Coulson.

By Alan Parker

Reprinted with permission of Avon Valley and Wheatbelt Advocate

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