Age is no Barrier for John Miller

04:30 AM 08 Apr 2014 NZST
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Bega trainer John Miller has been a registered trainer for 30 years and to say that victories are a long time between drinks is an appropriate statement.

Miller, who is 75 years young, has raced horses since 1969. The official records have his stats from 1984/85 and from this date it took a great deal of time to register his next success.

Yes, it was the 2003/04 season before Miller was in the winner's circle again, and, his 75th attempt since 84/85. His careers stats read 208 starters for 10 wins 7 seconds and 8 thirds. But Miller will tell you there's a few more than that from 'back in the day'.

A hobbyist trainer and a retired Machine Operator, Miller said regardless of where his horse finishes he gets such a tremendous thrill when gearing up his pacer and taking it to the race track.

"They (horses) keep me young, said Miller.

"I've been working horses on and off for 50 years or more. I've got three horses now and they keep me busy enough.

"My first winner was back in 1969 with Hillstead Boy at Queanbeyan and it was hard getting to the registered meetings to race as I was working all the time. I would like to have a few more wins under my belt."

At Wagga's meeting last Friday, Miller took Lombo Convertible to contest his 47 race start. The form read 46 starts for one win and six minor placings. But Miller new with HRNSW putting on a race for R0-R1 pacers named the Encouragement Stakes; he was a chance off the front line draw.

Lombo Convertible was forced to race three wide early before sitting in the chair for the majority of the trip. He was aided in some cover at the 600 metres when moves where made from the back but the five-year-old seemed to lose ground at the 400 metres. Gaining a clear run on the home turn, Lombo Convertible rallied. He dug deep, he found something and he grabbed the spoils right on the line to score by a narrow margin.

It was also a celebration for 23 year old Matthew Cuthbert who tasted success as a driver for the very first time. Harness racing was re introduced at the Bega Show last season and Cuthbert made the seven hour trip to drive horses for Miller on the tight turning circuit. His hours of dedication and effort paid off.

Miller was full of praise for Cuthbert.

"He's a decent young fella and I will always stick by him," he said.

"He got the best out of the horse at Wagga and I'm sure he will drive many more winners in the future."

It was a similar case at Parkes on Saturday night with a race named the Competitive Stakes.

Rod Lemon's Real McCoy Lombo was a maiden heading into the event after 30 starts but that all changed with an all the way win over the 1660 metres.

Dale Walker (Harness Racing NSW)

 

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