Milestones aplenty over the weekend


 Two words pretty much summed up how Tom Bamford was feeling after his breakthrough training win at Geraldine on Saturday - "bloody good".

And what a commanding win it was.

After settling handy Muscle Bank went to the lead with over a lap to go for driver Gavin Smith and from there it was a done deal.

The five-year-old mare ran her rivals ragged, winning by more than nine lengths for her fourth win in 18 starts.

But it was Bamford's first training success.

"This is win number one and the third horse I've trained," Bamford told Harness Racing Unhinged's Nigel Armstong post race, "it was bloody good."

"She loves the grass," he said of Muscle Bank, "and trots her best when rounding the last bend at speed."

The win completes a notable double for the Rangiora-based Bamford this year. In May he had his first win as a driver, piloting Lavra Segil to victory at Addington for trainer Peter Shennan.

Also at Geraldine, Mark Jones brought up career training success number 700 when The Coalman won for driver Sam Ottley.

Jones has 679 successes on his own account plus the 21 he had in partnership with Brendon Hill in 2020.

Jones, who won the world driving championship in Canada in 2003, also has 1456 wins as a driver dating back to the late 1990s.

When I See Fire won at Auckland on Friday there were dual milestones for co-trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett.

It was Wallis' 600th training success overall and Hackett's 400th. Wallis has 323 on her own account from 1999-2012 while Hackett has 123 (1988-2012). Together the husband and wife partnership now have 278 wins after Mums Jewel completed a double for them on Friday.


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