Day At The Track

Chris Alford notches 7000th career winner

08:20 AM 31 Aug 2019 NZST
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Chris Alford,Harness racing
Chris Alford

Lord's Raceway has played host to plenty of history-making events, and the the Bendigo Harness Racing Club was not about to let Chris Alford go without a reminder of where one of his biggest achievements happened.

The champion reinsman notched up his 7000th career winner, when he steered the Kelvin Barker-trained No City Chick to a trademark conspicuous win in the second race on Friday night's card in Bendigo.

The 50-year-old, known as 'The Puppet' brought up his 6999th victory aboard the Graeme Dalton/Sutton Grange-trained Missus Matilda on Thursday at Maryborough.

He would need just two more drives to become the first in the sport in Australia to get to 7000.

BHRC marked the milestone with the presentation of a plaque to Alford, who earlier this year nabbed his 100th Group 1 winner.

The popular reinsman left behind a permanent reminder of the night by signing a racebook below the magical 7000 number.

The book will soon be framed, to be preserved in the Bendigo Harness Racing Museum, operated by historian Noel Ridge.

An appreciative Alford was quick to praise the generous support of owners and trainers in helping him reach the milestone.

"It's good to have something I can say I've done and that no one else has done before," he said

"In years to come that will be broken I'm sure by all these young ones coming through; they are doing very well.

"I will just have to try and keep on getting more winners as we go along just to stay in front of them.

"I can't thank the owners and trainers enough for putting me on. I go out there and make blues as much as anyone else, but I get to drive lot of fast horses too.

"I'd like to thank my family - I don't get to see them much as I am always away racing, but I am sure they would have been screaming at the TV at home.

"Hopefully I can keep doing a good job for a little bit longer."

Alford's 7000th career win capped a big August for the brilliant reinsman, who earlier in the month went past 400 winners for the 2018-19 season.

His last 1000 winners have come in the period from May 2017 and tonight (August 30).


By Kieran Iles

Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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