Day At The Track

Ford takes out novice drivers series

09:12 AM 23 Aug 2020 NZST
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Taylor Ford,Harness racing

Brighton reinswoman Taylor Ford secured Friday night’s BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in Launceston.

Ford drove two of the four winners in the series and had an unbeatable lead going into the final heat.

The driver secured maximum points in the Tourello Standardbreds BOTRA Series Heat One on the Micheal Laugher-trained Christian Jaz, who raced up to his excellent recent form which included a win on the Launceston track two starts before Friday’s victory.

“On paper it looked like he was going to be hard to beat as he had been racing well, but those runs were from the second-row, so I was a little concerned drawing well,” said driver Taylor Ford after the race.

“We ended up in a good spot without doing any work and got out at the right time,” added the winning driver.

Ford then partnered up with the John Castles-trained Estelle who was another in-form pacer who recorded her third win at her sixth race track appearance.

“She is a nice little filly, she wanted to switch off a bit when we started to race away from them, but to her credit, she dug deep late,” explained Ford.

“It’s always good to be in these series, and it is even better to win them, but if it weren’t for the support of the trainer and owners putting the horses in these races then there wouldn’t be a series,” added the winning driver.

The remaining two heats were won by the race favourites, with Lachlan Dakin driving Lip Reader to victory in heat three, while Feel the Burn won the fourth and final heat.

The final points table was;

  • Taylor Ford 56
  • Troy McDonald 42
  • Samantha Gangell 40
  • Lachlan Dakin 39
  • Hannah Van Dongen 33
  • Andrew Freeman 30
  • Wade Rattray 27
  • Sam Clotworthy 22
  • Conor Crook 21
  • Georgia Hayward 19
  • Charlie Castles and Malcom Jones 18.

Aussie Rock

It was a rough start to the night for punters with $31 chance Aussie Rock scoring and for the second time in as many months, the on-course tote wasn’t able to pay out a few of the Leigh Rand stable supporters.

The four-year-old mare was first-up since March 2019 after being purchased very cheaply online after five-unplaced efforts in the Riverina area of New South Wales.

“She didn’t have many points and had been balloted out the last few weeks, so we have kept her rolling along trying to get a run,” said Rand post-race.

Despite being first-up from a long break and with no public trial in the lead up for the daughter of Pet Rock, the stable was confident of a forward showing.

“We have a 1000-metre track at home and it is fast and the times are reasonably true, so when you work them constantly and get consistent times you know you can go the races with confidence,” explained the winning trainer who trains on a property previously used by many trainers including Terry Knowles.

The Spreyton based Rand was a former-trainer driver who retired from the sport in the late ‘80s before recently deciding to get back involved, with Aussie Rock being his first starter in over 30 years.

“I was born in East Devonport and my father (Terry) was too, he trained horses on the beach with Max Imlach and Bruce Twibell and that’s where I learned my part out of it years ago,” explained the trainer.

“Aub Wesley wrote my reference to get into harness racing and that was a long time ago,” added Rand who was the manager of the popular Devonport Night Club, City Limits.

Rand has four horses in work including a two-year-old that he bred, a filly purchased from Queensland and four-year-old entire Pardoe Plugga who won a trial before last night’s meeting.

He also has a yearling out of a group one producing mare Somewhere Africa, dam of 2014 Ladyship Mile winner Vansumic.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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