Tom Bamford's Blenheim double - "a ripper of a day"

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

By his own admission Tom Bamford had "a ripper of a day" at Blenheim on Sunday.

The 28-year-old recorded the first training double of his career when Muscle Bank and Millwood Indie both recorded strong and definitive victories at Waterlea Raceway.

That also completed a double for Muscle Bank after her win on Friday, while Millwood Indie went one better than her second behind Tokyo Rose on the first day.

"Sometimes you worry about how they are going to back up, especially Muscle Bank after she had a hard run on the first day but she out-toughed them."

"It was a ripper of a day to be fair."

In the Seddon Shields Series Marlborough Trotters Cup Muscle Bank started off 10m with Sam Thornley securing a great position in the one-one before peeling out just before the home turn and reeling in Boyz Invasion. She went on to win comfortably by three lengths. It was her seventh win in 36 starts.

"She hasn't got high speed but she can sustain a run and just keeps trucking," says Bamford.

It was an impressive double for the seven-year-old, especially considering her gait "is not 100 percent."

"She can be a bit hitchy but the grass helped ..... she has soreness issues over my her back so we try to manage that."

Millwood Indie's win was arguably even more emphatic. She was last early before being launched by driver Carter Dalgety. She cleared out to win by more than three lengths, her sixth victory in 30 starts.

"She's pretty sharp when right."

Thanks to yesterday's double Bamford has now trained 10 winners from 71 starts. It's been a big 18 months for Bamford. Last year he won "cadet of the year" at the HRNZ awards and now he trains exclusively for well-known breeder-owner Ronnie Dawe next to Rangiora Racecourse and is a finalist in the "newcomer to training" category in this year's awards at Addington Raceway on February 19.

"It's great to be able to repay some of the faith he's shown in me."

And Bamford has yet to start the best horse in his stable this year.

"That would be Rakero Rocket, he won on debut at Addington and then had a second."

Rakero Rocket went out a warm favourite on debut after earlier winning a trial by 18 lengths, and was then beaten by McCrikey second up.

Working a team of around a dozen and "some younger stock" Bamford's clearly going to be one to watch in 2024 and beyond.

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