KYLE Pratten and Shane Knight shared some unfamiliar racing territory at Tamworth Paceway on Thursday when they both drove their first winners at the track.
For Knight it was a thrilling occasion – his first ever winner.
For Pratten, it was his first winner at Tamworth Paceway.
Pratten, who works for Michael Formosa at their Medowie base, celebrated his first Tamworth Paceway winner when Equity Chip finished stoutly between race favourite Enoughs Enuff and Abergail Shannon to win the Longyard Hotel Pace (1980m).
A six-year-old gelding son of Equitable, Equity Chip beat the favourite by a neck with Abergail Shannon another neck away third.
It was his eighth career win at his 97th start and his first this season.
“I can’t ever remember winning one here before,” Pratten said.
“I don’t come here often though.
“I’ve only got him in work.”
Working for Formosa doesn’t leave him much time to “muck around” with his own but he was delighted by Equity Chip’s first win for him.
“I had him gelded,” he said.
“He’s concentrated a bit better since.”
Knight was delighted but spent after piloting Shannonsaprincess to a 3.75m victory in the Merry Christmas To You All Pace (1980m).
At just his fifth official drive, the Uralla woolbroker could savour the winning thrill as he was congratulated by fellow trainers and drivers.
“That’s my Christmas present,” Knight told Len Clement as they detached the gear from their bonny four-year-old mare.
Clement trains Shannonsaprincess at Bendemeer and is relieved he has 20-year-old Knight to help out a stable that has doubled in size in the past few weeks.
“I had four in work three weeks ago and now have eight,” Clement said.
“Four was enough but I have more to still come in.
“Having Shane has been a big help.”
Ken Natty, who won with the talented Gotta Feeling again earlier in the day, also cruised past and congratulated Shane.
“Didn’t take you long,” Natty said of a young driver who had had his first official drive just a couple of weeks prior.
“I’m exhausted,” Knight admitted.
“I told you if you drove her right she’d get home,” Clement added.
Driving right was allowing the daughter of Royal Mattjesty to roll along out front where she fought off all challengers to score a third lifetime win at her 29th start.
“That was the plan,” Knight said.
“Get to the front and bowl along and hope for the best.”
Knight then took the mare over for a good hosing-down, where both horse and driver could cool down.
However there is little time to celebrate.
“We’re going to Dubbo on Wednesday with her,” Clement confirmed.
“She’s drawn the one in the third race.
“She might just win again too.
“And then she could start here next Friday if she gets a run.”