Day At The Track

Wife proves to be a lucky charm

05:12 PM 05 Apr 2019 NZDT
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Shane and Rachael with their winning pair,Harness racing
Shane and Rachael with their winning pair
Terry Gange
Experienced Melbourne harness racing trainer Shane Gallagher could be forgiven for thinking that his wife may just be the lucky charm he’s needed around horses.
 
Gallagher, who is head-trainer at the picturesque Doreen property Homestead Farm, owned by John and Christine Yeomans, has his wife Rachael Benns as owner of two square gaiters.
 
“I don’t know if it’s beginner’s luck or what it is, but the horses have seven wins between them, and they’re the first two that Rachael has ever owned,” Gallagher said.
 
“My wife has a love for buying shoes, so needless-to-say she has been adding to her collection with each racetrack victory - she will probably kill me, but there’s about 100 pairs in her collection.”
 
Six-year-old bay mare Whattalottafray (Armbro Invasion USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA) gave Rachael another reason to go shopping with an all-the-way win at Maryborough on Thursday afternoon.
 
After beginning nicely from the standing start tapes, the mare assumed control in front and was then rated in typically brilliant fashion by master reinsman Chris Alford.
 
With comfortable splits of 31.2, 31.3, 28.6 and 29.6, Whattalottafray had an eight-metre advantage up her sleeve at the finish over Surbiton Armistice, and a further four metres back to Allens Delight.
 
Gallagher said he had put the trotter up for sale a few weeks ago. “I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t get a single call. It was quite surprising, but perhaps I might get one now because she’s still on the market,” he said.
 
“I’m actually enjoying training a few trotters because I haven’t had any for many years.”
 
The other square gaiter in the Gallagher team is brilliant three-year-old Fear The Yankee (Yankee Spider USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA), a half-sister to Whattalottafray.
 
Fear The Yankee has three wins and two placings for $79,000.
 
Her victories were in the $50,000 Platinum Home Grown Classic Group One final in May and then the $90,000 Super Series Group One final for trotting fillies two months later. On both occasions, Anthony Butt was the winning driver.
 
“A friend told me about Whattalottafray, suggesting it was well worth a try,” Gallagher said.
 
“Then we later had the chance to purchase Fear The Yankee so we’ve been a bit fortunate.
 
“I only work two at a time, while John (Yeomans), who I’ve been with for probably 30 years, usually has a few more with six or seven in training.”
 
Gallagher said all jokes aside, he didn’t have a problem with wife Rachael having a full rack of footwear.
 
“She is a big shoe buyer and providing her horses keep up their form, I haven’t got a problem in the world!”

 

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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