Day At The Track

Van Dongen lands first training win

08:00 AM 18 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Hannah Van Dongen landing her first training win, Harness racing

Carrick trainer-driver Hannah Van Dongen landed her first training win in Launceston on Friday night when Art Frenzy led all the way to score in the Nutrien Ag Solutions Pace.

From barrier five Van Dongen pushed forward on the gelded son of Major In Art to find the lead in the 1680-metre event, and after being headed by Black Ops half-way down the straight, the pacer was able to hold off that challenge to score by a half-neck over Black Ops and Earl Jujon.

The mile rate was 1m 57.7s.

It was only Van Dongen’s fourth starter as a trainer, who prepares a small team in the afternoon after riding trackwork for Spreyton based trainer Leanne Gaffney during the morning.

Trainer Adrian Duggan and driver Mark Yole teamed up for a double on the seven-race card.

Five-year-old Sportswriter mare Lutetia Midfrew scored a 4.8-metre win in a rating 30 to 49 event.

From barrier two Yole positioned the pacer one-out and one-back before sweeping to the lead leaving the back straight and the mare was always holding her rivals over the concluding stages.

The Duggan-Yole combination ended their double with the win of Illawong Achilles who broke his maiden status at start 54.

Although it had taken a while to break the maiden status, the Western Terror gelding had been placed in 19 starts prior.

From barrier four Yole settled the six-year-old in a one-out one-back position before improving into the race from the 700-metre point to go on and score by three-metres over Danger Of Tyne and Ideal Jo.

It was a great tonic for Duggan who is still recovering from injuries sustained in a race fall in July.

Favourite punters were on the ball early with Heza Sport scoring his second career win for trainer-driver Rohan Hillier.

Hillier was alert in the early stages and secured the spot behind Say A Prayer who had plenty of room to take an inside run and obtain the lead around the first corner.

From there Hillier drove a patient race before gaining clear racing room at the top of the home straight to go on and record a 4.1-metre win.

Heza Sport will be chasing his second win of the weekend when he lines up in the third race on Sunday night in Devonport from barrier three.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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