Day At The Track

Passing of a great Western Australian horsemen

02:28 PM 31 Oct 2016 NZDT
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Fred Hough and his champion Frosty Nelson
Fred Hough and his champion Frosty Nelson

Last Thursday one of the State’s great harness racing trainer-drivers in Fred Hough died at the age of 86.

Fred Hough was born in 1930 to a family steeped in trotting with his father Arthur a leading Perth trainer and driver and his mother Lella a daughter of legendary dual-code trainer Fred Thomas.

Fred drove his first winner Gunplay as a 16yo on 18th January 1947 at Gloucester Park and after his last win with Regal Explorer on 28th September 1990, also at Gloucester Park, he had a tally of some 512 winners with 220 of them in the city.

Fred’s tally of 512 winners ranks him in 39th place on the all-time list of successful drivers in this State.

He was a part of history on 2nd September 1950 behind Step Lad when that horse dead-heated with Attaboy. It was the first dead-heat at Gloucester Park after the introduction of the photo-finish.

Fred also won the first WA Oaks in 1968 when he trained and drove the outstanding filly Pyramus to victory. She was to go on and win a WA Pacing Cup for Les Marriott.

Fred won ten races with Pyramus and he also developed another outstanding horse in Velvet Prince which later went on to run third in the 1978 Inter Dominion Final for Fred Kersley.

While he was an outstanding educator of young horses, it was the fifties champion Frosty Nelson which took Fred Hough to the pinnacle of trotting in Western Australia.

Frosty Nelson won 28 races whilst in Fred’s stables including the 1955 WA Pacing Cup and two heats of the 1957 Inter Dominion held at Gloucester Park and a State Sprint Championship. Fred won a second State Sprint in 1968 with Carpathian.

Fred was also keenly sought after as a freelance reinsman and won a pair of Stratton Cups with Blue Pennant (for trainer Tom Charles) and Red Vicar (for trainer Geoff Sherriffs).

Alan Parker

 

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