Andrew Drake gets his big break

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

At 25 Andrew Drake has landed a plum job – he's going to be the co-trainer along with New Zealand Cup-winning trainer Ray Green at Lincoln Farms.

But he’s unsure how long the new gig will last for.

The reason for the change is that Green is stranded in Australia unable to get a MIQ spot. He’s been there since the now injured reigning New Zealand Cup champion Copy That went to Victoria in December.

“Ray might not be back to at least April,” says Drake, “last time he was 7000th in line for a spot to get home, and then 9000th”.

Drake has been at Lincoln Farms since 2016, starting out as a junior driver, and has become a pivotal part of the team since then. Last week the stable landed two wins at Cambridge with Bet On The Tiger and Louie The Punter.

“Not much has changed for me but it’s more official that’s all.”

With Green now 76 years old Drake’s promotion could be seen as a forerunner of things to come at one of the country’s premier stables but Drake isn’t so sure.

“We haven’t talked about that .... I just hope it works out ok.”

Drake talks to Green at least twice a week “usually a Wednesday and Saturday, that’s before and after the races” and he also leans heavily on top driver Zachary Butcher, who is also employed at Lincoln Farms - “It’s great bouncing ideas off Zach.”

The stable is a busy one with four drivers and two other stablehands managing 19 horses in work. Another eight will come in next month – “we have some nice two-year-olds so that’s definitely exciting” - and there are 11 yearlings on the property to break in.

Drake has had nine training successes on his own account. He will continue to race the likes of seven-win trotter Superfast Ninja in his own colours as he is a part owner of the horse. He is also the horse’s regular driver though Drake says “I don’t want to drive really, I’m enjoying the training side of things a lot more.”

As Green continues his quest to get home Drake plans to make his mark.

“The main goal is to get my first winner as part of Lincoln Farms and we can go from there.”

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