Day At The Track

11yo in overdue, but deserved win

10:00 AM 08 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Tracy Reay, harness racing
Pinjarra trainer Tracy Reay with her pacer Betabeeasy - back in the winner’s circle after four-and-a-half years.

Hard working West Australian harness racing trainer Tracy Reay has been rewarded for her persistence with 11-year-old gelding Betabeeasy.

The lightly-raced pacer was well backed to get the money at Northam harness racing club on Tuesday-and he showed he still has a spring in his aging legs with an impressive all-the-way victory.

Betabeeasy (Bettors Delight-Easy As (Midshipman) had been out of the winner's circle for four-and-a-half years. His previous win was at Brisbane's Albion Park on June 21, 2016 (1.55-1) with Pete McMullen taking the reins.

"He ran a great third and fourth at Gloucester Park last month and a few of his other runs were good from awkward draws. He was always going to lead from the number three barrier at Northam and he does like it out in front," Reay said.

"To be fair, it was a drop back in class. But he was well handled by Kyle (Harper) who rated him to perfection," she said.

"My partner John Jelf was a bit keener on him than I was. I've learnt over the years not to go to the races full of confidence because if you go down, you're not so disappointed!

"But I was rapt for the win because the horse is my little mate. You can do anything with him, and I just love him. He hasn't got a vice in the world, although he can be a bit of a pest at the trot meetings."

To watch Betabeeasy win at Northam click here.

Betabeeasy combines with driver Kyle Harper to score at Northam

Reay, who is based at Pinjarra, still smiles about how Betabeeasy came to be in her stable.

"I'd bought another one from Sydney from Kevin Pizzuto, who used to have Tiger Tara. When I went to collect it, Kevin just happened to have put Betabeeasy on the float as well," she laughed.

"He was only a cheapie, but he was also then an eight-year-old! He's had a slight suspensory issue in the past but there's no problems with the old fella now.

"We've got an estuary not far away, which is an inlet off the ocean, and the first time I hopped on his back to ride him down there I was a bit worried, but he wasn't concerned al all. I walk him in the shallows quite a bit, but I also take him into a few deep spots where he has to swim."

Reay and Jelf are currently training about 18 horses at their property near the Pinjarra trotting track.

"At this time of year, we normally start at 4.30am, because you have to do them early when it's hot," she said.

"John and I don't mind putting in the time and effort because 90 percent of our team are usually rejects, cast-offs or on their last chance. We're having fun and we pick up winners here and there on the outer tracks."

Reay, who has held an A Class trainer's licence for nearly 30 years, said when she was growing up, her parents were involved in the sport.

"I was probably only 14 when I started doing trackwork for dad. I used to also ride a lot and mum and dad bought me a horse-it turned out to be an ex-pacer!" she said.

"I also spent time working at a gallops stud where I would ride them. My partner John would one day like to train a galloper-I'm not keen, I just love the standardbred, because they're just so straight forward. You throw a rope over their neck to put them on a float."

Reay said her godfather the late Les Marriott was also a big influence when he was located at Pinjarra at the end of his career. Known as 'The Rifleman', Les was a great horseman and a leading driver for many years.

"I also learnt heaps while I was working with Aiden Warwick, Gary Elson and others. John also learnt the game from doing pony trots before he graduated to the senior driving ranks. His grandfather John Blackburn loved the horses and raced a quite a few nice ones including Magic Miss."

Reay said her favorite win was with a pacer named Kobiashi Maru about 10 years ago.

"It was at Gloucester Park on a Friday night. It was New Year's Eve and the win was totally unexpected," she laughed.

"John was the winning driver. The horse won a few for me and he was always double figure odds. There's nothing like a surprise win."

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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