Day At The Track
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Promising harness racing young Bathurst reinsman Tom Pay will relish being back in his hometown Dubbo this evening where he has two drives. Pay grew up to become a harness racing devotee being from a family steeped in harness racing involvement. He heads “home” tonight to represent his boss, trainer Mat Rue and he will also be there to accept his award for being the most successful concession driver at Dubbo for the 2019-20 season. “I am really thrilled to have won this award, especially in my home town as all my family still live there and enjoy going to the local race meetings, particularly when me and my brother Jack drive there,” said Tom. “Things are going really well in Bathurst working for Mat.  “I accepted the job with him when I finished school three years ago and I could not be happier with my decision.  “We get on very well and he has some nice horses.” The move certainly aided Tom with his driving as he gets more opportunities with trainers quick to take advantage of his concession claim. “I am so grateful to be given drives on some very good horses,” said Tom. “Having the claim has afforded me a few drives on our stable star Fouroeight and I am excited in the knowledge that we have some nice horses coming through, which I will get to drive, when it suits.” Tonight, Pay will get his turn to shine with his plumb drives. “Beast Mode is a horse that has always shown us so much promise,” he said. “He has really turned the corner over the past month.  “His runs during the Blayney carnival and then his performance at Parkes last Sunday proved that he is a serious racehorse. “He rises in grade tonight, but I feel he is racing well enough to handle it.” HRNSW MEDIA

FORMER Dubbo reinsman Tom Pay made it a successful trip home on Sunday driving a double at his former local track. Moving to Bathurst just shy of 12 months ago to work for the Mat and Gemma Rue stable, Pay was confident he would have a good day. His first win was a family affair driving the fancied JoanandI who is trained by his father Michael. Beginning out of barrier one the $1.90 favourite scored a comfortable all the way victory, winning her first race at only start number five. “I was confident in dad’s mare if she did everything right,” Pay said after the race. His next steer of the day was on the Monica Betts-trained Snoop Stride who is a regular drive of Pay’s. Although trained by Betts her daughter Phoebe spends most of her free time working the horses with ‘Snoop’ being the family favourite. “I knew it would be hard from the draw but after his last start at Penrith I was confident he’d be in the finish if the right run presented itself,” the 15-year-old said. After being taken off arm the eight-year-old gelding flew down the outside scoring a 2.8 metre victory defeating the consistent Steve Turnbull-trained Shandance NZ. “I knew Snoop would run an honest race but wasn’t sure if he’d win,” Pay said.  “Monica and Phoebe have been a great support throughout my driving career so it’s always nice to get a winner for them.” The move to Bathurst has proved to be a great opportunity for the young reinsman having been given driving opportunities from a number of trainers including Bernie Hewitt, Peter Bullock, Ashlee Grives and boss Gemma Rue. Already having driven half of his total wins from last season only nine weeks into the new one, the 2018/2019 season looks to be Pay’s best one yet.   AMY REES

His school life is over and now Tom Pay is being thrust into the full-time world of harness racing. The Dubbo teenager wrapped his HSC on Tuesday and on Sunday he flies out for New Zealand and the opportunity of a lifetime. After taking out the Junior Driver Encouragement Award for country-based reinsman last year Pay was awarded the trip where he will work alongside two of New Zealand’s best trainers. Pay will work alongside Barry Purdon for a week and then spend time at Cran Dalgety’s stables. “It’s gonna be a great experience and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” he said in an interview with Harness Racing NSW. “Opportunities like this don’t come along too often. ”They (Purdon and Dalgety) are pretty big in the game and they’re top trainers so I’m going to Barry’s for a week then go down south and to the New Zealand Cup, which I’m looking forward to as well.” Pay has showed plenty of potential in the first few years of his driving career and with him being able to focus on it full-time now, he looks set to go from strength to strength. After spending time in New Zealand, Pay will begin his permanent work in the industry. “New Zealand for two weeks then I’m home for a bit and then going to work Matty Rue so I’ll be there for a bit then coming home for couple of weeks over Christmas and then I’ll be there (with Rue) full-time,” Pay said. Pay will head to Bathurst already having scored more than 20 wins in his career, with his most recent being with Bossy Alec on his home track a week ago. Pay was speaking at last weekend’s NSW Harness Racing Awards night and it was a good night for the region with Steve Turnbull collecting multiple prizes while the Bathurst Harness Racing Club named the best fraternity engagement club. It was a prize it won on the back of a successful Carnival of Cups meeting, one which features the $50,000 Shirley Turnbull Memorial. By Nick Guthrie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

Tom Pay will yet again combine with uncle Brett for a pair of harness racing drives at Parkes Harness Racing Club on Friday evening. The youngster has long teamed up with family members, having driven his first ever winner for his grandfather Greg back in 2015. At Parkes on Friday, Tom Pay will be in the gig of Brett Pay’s Remember Kaiser in the first race of the night, the Jenny Jones Memorial (2040m). The majority of races being run on the night are set to honour former members of the Parkes racing fraternity. Remember Kaiser will be first up from a spell at Parkes, having not raced since seventh-placed Finish at Tamworth in November of last year. He will line up from gate nine. It is then a long wait until the Pay duo combine again, with Suncreen also returning from a spell in the ninth and final race of the night, the Bill and Linda Taylor Pace (1660m). Racing starts at Parkes at 5.59pm on Friday. By Nick Guthrie Reprinted with permission of The Daily Liberal

Given the chance to work alongside some of New Zealand’s best trainers in Barry Purdon and Cran Dalgety is an experience most young harness racing drivers would not pass up. So when Martelle Maguire and Tom Pay had their names called out as the winners of the Junior Driver Encouragement Awards at the Arthur J Gallagher Industry Awards Night in Sydney on Saturday they were ecstatic. Up against four other drivers each, Maguire was crowned with the Lexus of Parramatta Metropolitan Junior Driver Encouragement Award while Pay was the Daily Form Service Country equivalent. Other award winners were: Garrards Horse and Hound Champion Driver – Todd McCarthy; Garrards Horse and Hound Champion Junior Driver – Todd McCarthy; Garrards Horse and Hound Champion Trainer – Steve Turnbull; Garrards Horse and Hound Leading Hobbyist Driver – Wes Komorowski; Garrards Horse and Hound Leading Hobbyist Trainer – David Eurell; Garrards Horse and Hound Leading Trotting Trainer – Blake Fitzpatrick; Garrards Horse and Hound Leading Trotting Driver – Blake Fitzpatrick. Amanda Rando

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