Day At The Track

Rattray cracks ton to snare 10th consecutive title

01:42 AM 01 Sep 2015 NZST
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Gareth Rattray guides Fioki to victory
Gareth Rattray guides Fioki to victory in Hobart as part of treble that secured him 100 winners for season
Peter Staples Photo

Star Tasmanian reinsman Gareth Rattray wrapped up another great season by winning the Tasmanian harness racing driver's premiership but this latest crown was special.

Despite missing the first two months of the season through illness Rattray powered his way to the lead mid-season and a treble at UBET Park Hobart on Sunday night gave him 100 wins for the season.

His treble came courtesy of Fioki winning a C2-C3 over 2090 metres; rank outsider Cardinal Eddy scoring in a nail-biting finish in a 3C1-C0 and he finished with a heady drive to win aboard the Matthew Dwyer-trained Original Art in a C4-C5 .

It was the third time he has reached the magical century of winners and this latest title is his 10th in succession.

To say Rattray has dominated this past decade would be an understatement with his feats so far ranking him amongst the greatest drivers of all time.

The first time he topped the century was in the 2007-08 season when he drove 113 winners but two seasons later he bettered that by snaring 115.

His father Barrie also achieved the feat three times driving a state record 118 winners during the 1989-90 season; 100 in 1995-96 and 109 the following season.

The father and son are the only two to reach the 100 milestone in Tasmania's driving ranks.

This season Gareth passed another milestone of reaching the 1000 winners mark and he now sits fifth on the all-time list with 1040 winners but he still has a way to go to catch his father who has amassed 1566 winners and is still driving competitively.

Ricky Duggan had another good season in the caret to end with 68 winners to take his career tally to 1370 to take over second place on the al-time list from Neville Webberley (1369).

All-time driver's record:

Barrie Rattray          1566

Ricky Duggan          1370

Neville Webberley   1369

Darrell Alexander    1315

Gareth Rattray          1040

Scott Ford                    891

Jack Stamford             848

Rohan Hadley            794

Don Peck                     661

Mark Stanley               638

Terry Knowles             572

Tony Petersen            569

Len Moriarty                556

Terry Peck                   556

Ken Austin                   551

Webb Jones                544

Hec Baker                    516

Meanwhile Beauty Point horseman Rohan Hillier captured his first trainer's premiership ending the season with 43 winners from only 100 starters which must rank as one of the best strike rates of all time.

Hillier finished ahead of Barrie Rattray (41) and Juanita McKenzie (37) who won her fourth female trainer's title ahead of Melissa Maine (33).

McKenzie and Maine proved beyond doubt that they can hold their own amongst the male trainers.

Dylan Ford was the leading junior driver finishing with 34 wins for what was his third consecutive title while his younger sister Tayla Ford and Wade Rattray dead-heated for second with 16 wins apiece.

However Ford was a clear winner in the female driver award winning from Natalee Emery (12) and Erin Hollaway (11).

Peter Staples

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