Laughton gets first win


The Golden Boy made junior driver Ben Laughton feel a bit special as he landed his first winner, when the four-year-old Mister Big gelding scored easily at Rangiora yesterday.

It was a notable day for his family, as Laughton’s father Steve, who rode 50 winners on the flat and over the jumps as a jockey, notched his first winner at Rangiora about 42 years ago.

Rated perfectly in front by Laughton, aged 24, The Golden Boy won in a modest 3:23.6 (2600m mobile), cutting out the last 800m in 59sec in a maiden pace.

The Golden Boy ($4.70), trained by Robbie Holmes at Leithfield Beach, had run a bold third fresh-up at Addington for Laughton last week.

He held off first-starter Airpark Flyer and top driver Dexter Dunn by one-and-a-half lengths.

Laughton now works for Holmes, but has only been there for three weeks after 18 months with West Melton trainer Cran Dalgety, where Dunn is the No 1 driver.

“Dexter helped me get my workouts and trials licence and was always helping me with driving advice,’’ said Laughton.

“It was good to look over my shoulder and see him in second place and he was quick with the congratulations, as were all the other drivers.’’

“It was a good feeling to get that first win under the belt. He felt strong on the turn and had a good kick in the straight.

“I love the game and hopefully the driving can take off for me.’’

Later, Stacy Whatuira, a junior driver who works for master Canterbury trotting trainer Paul Nairn, notched her eighth career win and first with a pacer when speedy mare Gypsy’s Choice held out Goodlookin Chick and current leading driver Blair Orange, who stayed on 18 wins for the season.

Gypsy’s Choice improved from second-last to sit outside the leader at the 700m and stayed on strongly after hitting the front at the 400m, cutting out her last 800m in 58.4 to notch her fourth win in 15 starts for Russley trainer Brad Mowbray.