Day At The Track

Tayla French wins praise for her drive

01:49 PM 17 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Colin Godden and Tayla French,Harness racing
Colin Godden and Tayla French teamed up for a win at Shepparton with veteran pacer Lights And Music
Shepparton Harness Racing Club photo

NANNEELLA trainer Colin Godden predicts good opportunities ahead for emerging Heathcote-based region Tayla French after combining for a win at Shepparton on Wednesday night.

French notched up her fourth winning drive of the new harness racing season, from limited opportunities, aboard the veteran pacer Lights And Music.

It was the 28th career win for the now 12-year-old pacer, who has had an amazing 245 starts for Godden, and won his first race back in 2010 at Maryborough and qualified for a Vicbred Super Series final as a four-year-old.

Lights And Music has developed quite a cult following across the Goulburn Valley region, where he is trained, and in other pockets of Victoria.

Godden was full of praise after French's winning drive - her second aboard the horse.

"(Lights And Music) has a real affinity for the girls. Abbey Turnbull has been driving him a bit and Tayla has been doing a good job with him too," he said.

"They both get on really well with him.

"Tayla's been on him about six or seven times now and they won a few weeks back (September 9) at Maryborough and her first drive they ran second.

"She does a great job. She doesn't get great big opportunities, but hopefully they come to her in the future and she gets a few nicer horses to drive.

"I'm sure there'll be a few more people putting her on their horses."

The installation of a water-walker on his property about 12 months ago had not just prolonged, but rejuvenated Lights And Music's career, according to Godden.

"That's why he has had a real good patch the last 12 months or so," he said.

"He's been well looked after and has been part of the family all his life.

"The water-walkers are tremendous things, no doubt about it.

"He has always had bad feet - not bad legs - but his feet have long been a problem and it's taken all the pressure off him jogging and working on the track all the time.

"I'm sure he'll tell us when he's ready to give the racing away, but at the moment, leg-wise and all that stuff, he's like a two-year-old an his heart-rate is still fine.

"There's not one year of his (racing) life he hasn't won a race."

Lights And Music will likely have his next run at Kilmore on October 24.

The win at Shepparton boosted his prize earnings to $166,485, with 28 wins complemented by 65 placings in a remarkably consistent career.


by Kieran Iles

Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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