Ottley gets 300


Sam Ottley’s never been one to do things by halves.

When there’s a job to be done, or a milestone to be met - she’s always done it in style, dating right back to her first winning drive in her very first drive at the races.

So, when the young lady, who is likely to end up as New Zealand’s most winningest female driver by the end of her career, notched up her 300th driving success early in proceedings at Addington last night, it should have come as no surprise that she’d roll the sleeves up and get stuck straight into her next hundred.

After sitting on the figure for over a week and a bit, Ottley was relieved to have reached the 300-win mark.

“I didn’t want to be sitting on 299 for too long,” she said.

“It’s nice to have notched it up, I’m proud of getting that far.”

The milestone win came on Princess Holly, fittingly for her biggest supporter, Mark Jones, in the opening race of the night.

But Ottley quickly notched up wins 301 and 302 later in the night with a back-to-back double on Geena’s Girl and then Cool Changes.

Best known for her patient hands, Ottley bucked the trend with the Stephen Boyd-trained Cool Changes and went to war from the 600-metre mark, running their rivals into the deck.

While the transition from the junior driver ranks into those of a full-fledged open driver can be difficult for many, Ottley hasn’t slowed down one bit with tallies of 41, 40 and 59 in her first three seasons.

The treble on Friday night took her to 40 wins for the season and her season best of 59 looks in serious jeopardy if she continues along the same path as she has been.

“I’ve been very lucky to get the support that I have, especially from Mark who gave me a real go when I first came to work for him and gives me most of the drives on the team.

“That’s helped immensely but there’s a lot of other people out there who have been really loyal too and I’m thankful for them all.”

Ottley became the second female driver to reach 300 career driving wins behind Nicky Chilcott who has driven 623 while Michelle Wallis (228 wins), Kirstin Barclay (215) and Natalie Rasmussen (206 NZ wins) sit next on the list of all-time leading female drivers.

  • NZ Harness News