News Briefs – November 25
Huge run makes it 100 for Young-Grant
Producing what commentator Justin Evans called “a huge run”, Aveross Majesty gave Jessica Young-Grant her 100th driving success at Oamaru on Saturday. Paying $11.30 and $4 the Denis O’Connell-trained trotter was worse than midfield turning for home only to unleash down the very outside to win by more than two lengths. It was the horse’s first win in eight starts and Young-Grant’s 100th since taking up race driving in 2009. Her achievement was overshadowed just four races later when Peter Ferguson won his 2000th, becoming just the eighth driver ever to do so.
Decade between drinks for Jo Herbert
A milestone too for Jo Herbert who won her first race for over a decade when she piloted Blue Chip Delight to victory at generous odds ($29.80 and $6.70) in the Country Feasts pace at Motukarara on Sunday. It was her first win since Valhalla at Addington in 2009.
Wedding bells for racing couple
Oamaru locals Matty Williamson and Charlotte Purvis have become the latest harness racing couple to tie the knot. They wed in Christchurch yesterday. They have one child together, 17 month old Sadie. Purvis has had just the one drive this season while Williamson had a winner, Hurricane Banner, at his home course on Saturday and 907 wins overall in a career dating back over a decade.
Quarter billionaires in North America
Racing in North America has thrown up some astonishing figures. Trainer Ron Burke and driver Dave Miller have each pushed past the $US250-million mark in lifetime earnings, that’s nearly $NZ360m. Burke reached that lofty number when Baklouva finished second in the Governor's Cup Consolation at Meadowlands in New Jersey over the weekend, while Miller became a quarter-billionaire after scoring with the Ron Burke-trained Blue Diamond Eyes in the Three Diamonds. Burke is harness racing's leading all-time trainer in terms of earnings while Miller is second to John Campbell, who retired in 2017 after 10,667 wins and stakes earnings of $US299 million.
Winners are grinners at Geraldine
All winning owners on course at Geraldine this Saturday will get a bonus for their victory. They will receive a $200 betting voucher to be collected and spent on course. There will be 11 races at Orari with the weather expected to be cloudy and 17 degrees.