Day At The Track

Tormey's drive "one of the best" says Glover

06:55 PM 08 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Ellen Tormey pictured with HRV Chairman Mr Ken Latta.
Ellen Tormey pictured with HRV Chairman Mr Ken Latta.

Harness racing driver Ellen Tormey produced an absolute pearler of a drive aboard Miss Fisher to land the Elite Horse Transport Trot on Tuesday night at Shepparton.

In fact, so impressed was long-time harness racing stalwart Bill Glover that he phoned this scribe to sing her praises.

Check out the video replay and it’s not hard to see what impressed Bill so immensely.

Tormey made all the right calls, avoided plenty of troublesome situations and guided the five-year-old daughter of Tennotrump/Miss Laura Loo to a 5.4-metre triumph.

“She was back in the score-up 10 metres and horses 2 and 3 both break. She keeps her horse trotting – and it’s a risky trotter at the best of times – then 60 yards down she has to avoid another one galloping. Then at the 500 she’s one-by-three and Doc (Wilson) pulls three-wide on Illawong Red, Leannes Legacy gets put four-wide and she pokes through the middle. Then she eases out five-wide at the corner. At the 175 Leannes Legacy gallops and I reckon brushes her, but Ellen gets around it and the horse comes away,” was how Glover recalled the drive.

“I’d say that was about the best drive I’ve seen without using sprint lanes or anything, on a trotter where you can’t make those sharp moves. It was just a wonderful drive,” he added.

The win provided Pompapiel’s John Davidson with his first victory as a trainer in 13 years.

“John’s done a great job with her and it was his first win in a fair while, so that was really nice. They’re the wins that really make it worthwhile,” Tormey said.

Davidson raced the smart mare Passionfruit in the 1980s.

Tormey humbly played down her drive, but said she had felt reasonably confident Miss Fisher would run a big race.

“She’d trialled really well on the Monday when I drove her but the key was that she just stayed trotting,” she said.

“I knew she had enough speed but I just had to try and eliminate the risk.

“She wasn’t trotting smooth in the score-up so I just allowed her to settle and I also knew the ones in front had a habit of doing things wrong.

“Around the first turn one galloped and I went to go around it and it went wider, but I eventually got around it.

“There was one that knocked me over the start before (Leannes Legacy) so I wanted to get off its back as quickly as I could at the end.”

Leannes Legacy mustn’t like Tormey much because she very nearly cost her victory in the straight on Tuesday by galloping again.

But Tormey and Miss Fisher avoided the hiccup and coasted home out wide.

Tormey made it two wins in two nights last night at Bendigo driving Sheer Strength to victory for trainer and partner Scott Dyer.

“He’s quite a nice horse,” she said of the four-year-old son of Shadow Play/Kateeshar.

“He’s won seven out of 17 now. He races good over a mile.”

Tormey, whose father John is also a trainer, said the stable had bred quite a few young horses in recent years and they were looking forward to finding the next “good one”.

“Hopefully there are some nice ones. You always strive to get a good one,” she said.

Tormey would also welcome more opportunities in the gig.

“I’m realistic. I know it works after you lose your claim,” she said.

“You find you have your good runs … but if I’m not getting the opportunities I’m also happy enough to stay at home and keep working on the younger ones.”

Given her form, Tormey can expect to pick up a few more drives in coming weeks.

Cody Winnell

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