Gutsell gets first driving win
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
The appropriately named Still Rockin provided Ricky Gutsell with his first driving win at Winton yesterday.
The 61-year-old, having just his 12th race day drive, led all the way in winning the Bruski Farm Mobile Pace.
Unfancied by punters the A Rocknroll Dance five-year-old recorded his fifth win in 31 starts, paying $30.60.
But Gutsell had rated his chances, especially after the horse's sixth in the Macca Lodge South of the Waitaki Mobile Pace at Addington on Show Day.
"I was very confident," says Gutsell, "he's not a bad nag."
It was a comfortable enough victory, by half a length, though the talented Joe's Rock did charge home after being in heavy traffic back in the field.
"My guy wears the Murphy blinds so didn't see him coming and he can knock off in races."
"I have watched the replay and I didn't realise just how quickly he was coming."
Gutsell has been around horses most of his life. He races in the same red, white and red colours as his father Earl did and brother Mark was also a trainer-driver, his best horse being Run Fatboy Run, who won 13 on both sides of the Tasman.
Ricky Gutsell has trained 25 winners since 2017, and his first driving success yesterday with Still Rockin (A Rocknroll Dance - Insar) follows a training double at Wingatui on December 8 with Insarchatwist and Hacksaw Ridge. Still Rockin is their full brother.
Insarchatwist especially has been a great horse for Gutsell, racking up eight wins
So why did he take up driving this year?
"It was ticking off the bucket list - I'd had other people drive for me and thought I would do it myself."
"I love it, but it is a challenge."
And the reaction to his first win in the sulky?
"It's been good - had a lot of messages and congratulations - some from people I haven't heard from in a while."