Day At The Track

Davis keeps family tradition alive

02:51 PM 08 Apr 2019 NZST
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Studleigh Kristen,Harness racing
Studleigh Kristen
Dan Costello photo

Jake Davis not only drove his first winner at Albion Park on Saturday night (April 6) but he also kept up a family tradition dating back a couple of decades.

Davis and his father Leigh made the 970km journey from their Browns Creek stable near Bathurst, to campaign six horses in Queensland.

They were rewarded for their efforts when Studleigh Kristen, despite facing the breeze for much of the 2138m Pace (Race 11), careered away for a dominant victory over Call Me Yours and Caesars Astrum. 

Travelling to Albion Park is something the Davis family have done since Jake’s grandfather, Ray, started racing standardbreds in Queensland a couple of decades ago.

“Dad drove the 13 hours to get here with the team the week before last and I arrived here on Thursday night after the races. I will head home again next Sunday to do my main job on our dairy farm,” Jake said.

The 26-year said he had been driving for almost a decade.

“That was about the time when Dad last campaigned horses up here. He drove them back then. I’m over the moon. Tonight was my first drive at Albion Park and I loved it." Jake said.

“I won’t forget the night in a hurry. It’s something I wanted to achieve when I knew we were coming up here. The team will stay for about four or five weeks, depending on how they go."

Davis had two drives at Albion Park on Saturday. He finished a close-up second behind Rays Choice in the third event, and then thanks to a very confident drive he steered Studleigh Kristen to victory in the final event.

“I don’t mind sitting parked with her. About 70 per cent of the time I’ve sat in the ‘death seat’ and she's gone on to win races. She’s as tough as old boots and can stay all day. I was delighted with that performance. She felt the winner a long way from home,” Davis Jr said.

Studleigh Kristin drew six of seven and settled last early before Davis sent her to sit parked at on ‘Alan Border Field corner’ the first time.

That's where they remained until the home straight. Davis then gave the mare some rein and she left them to it winning by an increasing 9.7m.

She paced the 2,138m mobile in 2:37.2 with a 1:58.3 mile rate. Her sectionals were: 32.1, 30.5, 28.2, and 28.1.

It was the Kenneth J 6-year-old mare's 11th win in 83 starts. She's also placed 22 times and banked $69,666 in purses.

"She's a lovely, tough mare, who always gives her best. We paid $3,000 for her at the Sydney Yearling Sales. As a 2-year-old she wouldn't steer straight and Dad wanted to get rid of her, but there was no way Pop (grandfather) was going to let him do that," Davis said.

"She started her career as a 3-year-old and has consistently been in the money since. She is always well backed. I think she will do well up here," he added.

Davis Senior and Studleigh Sonny won at Redcliffe Paceway on Thursday, three days after Studleigh Stride and the same driver ran second at Albion Park (Monday).

The Davis’ originally housed their horses at John McCarthy’s property, but these days they park up at Peter McMullen and Chantal Turpin’s barn at Patrick Estate.

“We love it up here and our horses have already performed well with two firsts and two seconds from four starts. We also have another 12 horses at home, mostly yearlings and 2-year-olds, I have to get back and tend to,” Davis said.

One of the other highlights on Saturday was the running of the Jack Waltisbuhl Memorial. His family on-course to watch the Darrel Graham trained and Kylie Rasmussen driven $38.50 outsider, Platinum Roulette, get up and win.

Mr Waltisbuhl raced horses in the 1970s and 1980s and  enjoyed multiple successes with Penny Express, Bulltossa, and Fiery Tan.

He raced and won at tracks all over Queensland including Amberley, Redland Bay, Lawnton, Capalaba, Cleveland Showgrounds, Redcliffe Showgrounds, Kedron Park, Rocklea and of course Albion Park. 

 

Duane Ranger

for Racing Queensland

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