Day At The Track

Lochie posting his own numbers now

10:33 AM 31 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Lochie Cook, harness racing
Young Terang reinsman Lochie Cook landed his third winner with Jilliby Adore at Horsham. He is pictured with Marg Lee stable representatives Macey Hickey and Peter Craven

It wasn't all that long ago that Lochie Cook worked in a numbers room at a country Victorian harness racing-now the popular stablehand is putting together an impressive list of numbers of his own.

Cook, who is based at Terang in the Western District, recently posted his third driving victory at just his tenth race engagement.

"I won at both of my first two drives and thought I was 'King of the World'!" Cook said.

"But one of my workmates (reinsman) Jason Lee was quick to point out that it wouldn't be all that long before I come back to earth," he laughed.

"And it did take me another eight drives until I landed Jilliby Adore at Horsham the other day, but I'm learning that little bit more every time I go out onto the track."

Bay filly Jilliby Adore (Roll With Joe-Jilliby Kate (Jennas Beach Boy) took out the $7000 Alabar Horsham 3YO Classic after a 10 out 10 drive by Cook for his boss, trainer Marg Lee.

To watch the video replay click on this link

The 20-year-old reinsman had some anxious moments early when debutante runner Smile With Grin shifted outwards soon after the start, resulting in the two runners getting in a tight tangle for a brief moment.

Race favorite Jaeden (Jackie Barker) sped to the front and cruised along unchallenged until Smile With Grin moved to the death-seat. Cook was quick to jump on its back and grab the one-one sit.

On the home corner, the race became a race in two with Jaeden and Jilliby Adore clearing out from the others. Jilliby Adore did best to win nicely by six metres.

Jilliby Adore and Lochie Cook take out the Alabar Horsham 3YO Classic

Cook said he got to know the Lee family while working in the numbers room at Terang on race nights.

"I would always have a chat with Jason and Paddy. They talked me into going out to the stables and helping them after school. I had no background in trots because my parents weren't involved and didn't follow the sport," he said.

"I thought I'd give it a go to earn some extra money and they only wanted me for a few hours each night. When I finished Year 12, Marg offered me a full-time job so I thought I'd use it as my gap year.

"Now I've been there over two years and I just love the industry!

"It's unbelievable in what they've taught me. The Lee family are fantastic people and the other stable workers are great."

Cook said it was Marg Lee who encouraged him to get his trials driving licence.

"It's funny to look back and think that I've gone from having never driven a horse, to driving in trials, and now competing at the races," he said.

"Ever since I started driving at the races, mum and dad have been following me and dad's got right into it now."

Cook said his first two drives, which resulted in wins at Kilmore and Ballarat, both on Keeyang Jackie, were "pretty cool".

"I think in one of them we went 1.53 which was awesome," he said.

"Despite that I would have to say that Terang is my favorite track. I did heaps of trials there...and besides it's in my hometown.

"I can't wait to drive at Melton in a race. I've driven there in trials, but that's the place where you want to be-it's the big stage!"

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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