Day At The Track

Tassie girls ready to take on nations best

03:08 PM 21 Mar 2021 NZDT
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Tasmanian Harness action,Harness racing Photo

Tasmanian drivers Hannah Van Dongen and Samantha Gangell are ready to take on the nations best female drivers in the Australian Female Drivers Championship in Launceston.

Van dongen has two of the past three leading Tasmanian Female drivers titles. Once again, she was the states number one contributor during the Team Teal promotion, and she is looking forward to pulling on the colours of the state once again.

“It is a huge honour to represent your state, regardless of what sport it is, and hopefully, I can do the state proud tonight,” said Van dongen.

Taking on Van dongen and Gangell are; Kate Gath (VIC), Kerryn Manning (VIC), Jocelyn Young (WA), Emily Suvaljko (WA), Lisa Ryan (SA), Danielle Hill (SA), Narissa McMullen (QLD), Dannielle Veivers (QLD), Ashley Hart (NSW) and Stephanie Lippiatt (NSW).

Van dongen admits that you need a lot of luck on your side in the drivers invitation races, but she will be hoping to get some valuable points in the early heats, with the driver rating Joogle in heat two as the best of her drives.

“I think Joogle is my best drive. She has had one run back from a break and has drawn very well. There are few nice horses in the race, but we should get a nice run in the event, and it would be nice to get a win for the Rattray family, who was a big help early on in my career,” said the Carrick-based driver.

Van dongen will also hope to get valuable points in the opening race with the Ben Yole-trained Got The Goods and in the third heat with Starofrembrance.

“Both have drawn inside of the second-row, and there is a bit of speed off the front line in both heats. I reckon we may end up three back on the pegs on both horses, but with the early speed, there should be a few gaps late, and they should get his chance if good enough,” added the driver.

It has been a big six months for Van dongen.

She has obtained her trainer’s license and trains a small team around her duties as a stable hand and track work rider for Devonport trainer Leanne Gaffney where she gets to work with a number of the states best thoroughbreds, including horses such as Newhart and Deroche.

The points table for tonight sees heats 1-4 and 6 below;
1st – 19 points, 2nd – 14 points, 3rd – 11 points, 4th – 9 points, 5th – 8 points, 6th – 7 points, 7th – 6 points, 8th – 5 points, 9th – 4 points, 10th – 3 points, 11th – 2 points and 12th – 1 point.

With a late scratching in heat five, all placings are reduced by one point, with Lisa Ryan, who misses out on a drive receiving five points as per HRA policy.

Sunday night’s card in Launceston can’t be missed, and if you can’t make it trackside, there are plenty of options to catch the meeting with Matt Reid and Jacob Bevis hosting on TasracingTV, while Brittany Graham and Duncan Dornauf will be on the Sky Racing Active coverage.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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