Ponies have pulling power

Tamworth Paceway is now the resident home of the NSW Mini Trot Championships and if you missed this year’s running over the Easter break - with nearly 100 races over two days - make sure you book in for next year.  

There were a record 187 ponies contesting the 33rd NSW Mini Trot Championships with 133 registered drivers who travelled to Tamworth from 12 affiliated clubs across the state as well as visitors from Victoria, Queensland and a guest driver from New Zealand.

The feature event on Sunday was the Champion of Champions contest which saw the three division winners handicapped on metres per second in a run off. 

With 50 metres to travel Grace Panella drove a tactical race with Velvets Little Star – who commenced off 1,000 metres behind – to run away and win the event by five metres from Chester’s Lad (Charlie Harris) a neck in front of Bobby Bouche (Jimmy Cunningham).

When asked if she was going to follow her sister Lauren Tritton into the senior driving ranks, Grace Panella stated she was not going to follow Lauren she was going to beat her!

Well done to the Tamworth contingent who also collected plenty of trophies, but a special mention to Rory Brown who contested his final Championships and will soon be racing around on the North West tracks as he progresses to the big league.  Rory finished second with Mr Fantangles to Velvet Little Star in the Garrard’s Horse and Hound-sponsored Pony Division.

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For former butcher John McCarthy - who decided to sell his Bathurst butcher shop and give training a go just over 20 years ago - probably never thought he would train 2000 winners.

Well the magic happened last Tuesday at Menangle when Maybettothemax notched up the win. 

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Another high light from the Mini Trot Championships certainly brought the crowd to life was the win by Tamworth in the foot and gig race. All visiting Clubs were pitted against Tamworth as the host Club who were not performing well at all – that was until the final 200metres when Dwayne Brown and Richard Williams brought home the trophy in spectacular style. What a great finish to a top weekend.

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If you would like to place something in Keeping Pace please phone 0439818261.

Fine style: Rory Brown competing at his final championships before moving onto a bigger league. Photo courtesy of Amber Ralph

Fine style: Rory Brown competing at his final championships before moving onto a bigger league. Photo courtesy of Amber Ralph