Modern Mistress rekindles memories

MODERN Mistress brought back many memories for her Maitland trainer Peter Hedges when she won Thursday’s A4E Australia Pace (1609m) at Tamworth Paceway.

The three-year-old filly utilised the perfect barrier (1) to lead all the way and hold off Cammys Star (Lola Weidemann) for a 1m win with Ian “Spud” Verning and Halfway Holme a nose away third.

“He needs a bigger head,”  Verning joked.

 Hedges continued his run of success at Tamworth Paceway when he drove Modern Mistress to just her second race win.

She had raced well at Newcastle at her previous start and drew well, Hedges said.

“But she didn’t get an easy lead,” he said.

“I thought she was going to run fourth on the turn but the others petered out and she held on.”

He brought the filly back to a delighted Robin Hosking.

“I had my first winner here,”  Hosking said of a mare called My Gypsy.

“That was back in 1975 and was my first drive in a race.”

Hosking was a meat inspector at that stage, sent to Guyra for six weeks but stayed a bit over three years.

“John Menzies helped me out,” he said of the former trainer-driver who dominated harness racing in the region for many years.

“Then I moved to Cessnock and then Maitland. 

“I had 12 years out too – had a bad fall at Maitland in 2000. 

“A horse fell on me and I broke my leg and knee. 

“I was on crutches for two years.”

Before that he also had “the horse of a lifetime”, a marvellous gelding called Lively Exit.

“He won a couple of Derbies for us,” he said.

“He won the South Australian Derby and the Newcastle Derby. 

“He also finished second in a West Australian Derby and second in an Australian Derby in Tassie. 

“He raced in six states that year and won in all six states.

“He earned $216,000 in prizemoney but never raced as a four-year-old. 

“We got him from Helen Head at Congupna, a little place near Shepparton.”

 Head has been a great supporter and supplier for the Hoskings over many years.

Modern Mistress is from  Head’s Manna Lodge and, while she might not be in Lively Exit’s class, she might go on and win a couple more after Thursday’s success.

 Tamworth Harness Racing Club races again on Friday, December 27.

The THRC stages its annual general meeting in the UNE Tamworth Centre tonight. The AGM starts 7pm.

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