Day At The Track

The "Wizard" chalks up win number 1000

06:54 PM 15 Dec 2014 NZDT
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Todd Mitchell - Drove his 1000th winner on Friday night
Todd Mitchell - Drove his 1000th winner on Friday night
Prime Power

One of harness racing's most select clubs in New Zealand has a new member after the "Wizard" Todd Mitchell chalked up win number 1000 as a driver when he piloted Prime Power to the winners circle at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

Todd became just the 22nd driver to reach the milestone and he did it on one on his all time favourite horses in Prime Power.

"I thought I might reach the mark the day before at Hawera but it just never fell into place on the day."

" I am glad I drove the 1000th at Alexandra Park and being on Prime Power made it that bit more special," Todd told Harnesslink today. 

Todd was always destined to follow a career in harness racing with his father being the former top trainer Robert Mitchell.

"I have been around horses all my life." 

"I worked for dad for 12 months when I left school and then went and worked for South Taranaki Bloodstock for near on 18 months."

"From there I had a spell lasting about 18 months at National Bloodstock which is when they had a lot of top horses like Tower Of Strength," Todd said.

Todd then went back to work for his father and continued to hone his driving skills.

Not to long after that decided the time was right to give training a go himself.

The first season in 2001 was a touch quiet but he has steadily built up the team to the point where Todd presently has 205 wins as a trainer on the board. 

Todd started driving in 1989 and built through the 1990s to the point where by the late 1990s Todd was in the upper echelons of New Zealand drivers.

The first highlight was winning the 1999 New Zealand Cup with Homin Hosed which he backed up with Gracious Knight when he won the New Zealand Cup in 2002.

Then Just An Excuse won the 2003 and 2004 New Zealand Cups to give Todd four wins in New Zealands premier race in just six years.

His most successful season was in 2003 when he drove 85 winners.

Todd was straight to the point when asked who was the best pacer that he had driven.

" Just An Excuse was special for me and the best pacer I haver driven."

"Prime Power is just as clearly the best trotter I have anything to do with," Todd said.

Todd has been aware he was closing in on the 1000 mark but says it took a bit longer due to his nine month holiday in 2012.

"That nine month break was the best thing that could have happened to me."

"It gave a much better outlook on the game being on the outside for a while."

"I worked at Pencarrow Stud for nine months and really enjoyed the time there."

Having now reached his goal of 1000 driving wins, Todd's sights are now firmly fixed on Australia with his star trotter Prime Power. 

Safely through the next two starts at Auckland, Todd will turn his attention to the Glenferrie Challenge at Menangle with the 5 year son of Monarchy.

"The mile on that big track is taylor made for him and I am excited about the trip"

" I am not sure about heading on to the Southern Star a week later as I am not convinced he is mentally tough enough yet for three runs in a week," Todd said.

Todd is one of the most approachable and helpful people in the industry when we ring for a comment or information and we here at Harnesslink would like to join with the rest of his peers in congratulating Todd on achieving the 1000 wins as a driver.

Harnesslink Media


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