TAMWORTH reinsman Anthony Varga was the one to follow at last week’s Tamworth Harness meeting when he drove a double and picked up three minor placings.
Smiles from Heaven from the Graham Moon stables was the first winner for Varga and paid $31.30.
Somerosesomewhere led the field while Smiles From Heaven sat on the leader’s back until the final turn, making a challenge down the home straight to have an eventual head win over Somerosesomewhere (Dean Chapple).
“Once the draw came out I was pretty happy and she has been going alright in the last couple of starts,” Varga said. “It was just a matter of time.”
Smiles From Heaven clocked a mile rate of 1min 57.9sec for 1609 metres.
“They did a bit of work early which suited her down to the ground,” Varga said. “Winners are always good to get. Graham and Jenny [Moon] do a good job.”
The last race on the nine-event program saw Varga kick home his second win for the day with a new acquisition to the Ernie Mabbott stables in Joey Tee, a former Queensland pacer.
Joey Tee was having his first start for new owners – John Varga and his daughter Kerryanne Davis.
With an all-the-way win, Joey Tee had a best winning mile rate of 1.57.7 for 1609 metres and paid $16.70 for the win.
Varga had teamed with Tamworth trainer Ernie Mabbott earlier in the meeting which resulted in a third behind Tralee Rocks in the HRNSW Two-Year-Old Guarantee Pace and a second with Purple Shades in the TAB Rewards Pace.
Inverell trainer Rod Miller also engaged Varga for driving duties behind his pacer Alartmicksue who finished second to Readily (Stacey Weidemann) – beaten a neck.
A regular to Tamworth is 19-year-old Maitland reinsman Brad Elder who clocked up career winning drive 199 at the Tamworth meeting before going on to the Saturday night Newcastle meeting to record winning drive 200.
“I knew I was close to the 200 and kept thinking each race that it would be this one after I reached 199 at Tamworth last Thursday,” he said.
Elder drove Catch A Ruby to a win at Tamworth in taking out the Hats Off To Country Festival 12th to 15th July Pace for trainer Bevan Pringle.
It took another seven drives for Elder to crack the 200 wins.
“I wasn’t expecting Ryabby to be the horse to give me the 200 wins,” he said.
Ryabby paid $29 for taking out the Happy 40th Birthday Glenn Munro Pace by a half head over race favourite Can’t Explain It.
DUBBO will host a meeting on Sunday afternoon and one runner to keep an eye on is Barlor Troubadour. Barlor Troubadour won at the Tamworth meeting, and won at Parkes three days later.
Trained at Gilgandra by Barrie Batten, the pacer will be looking for three wins on the trot on Sunday.
After handling the pacer in his last two starts, Bathurst reinswoman Angela Hedges has accepted the drive for Batten at Dubbo.
FRIDAY night’s Newcastle meeting will see seven runners competing from Tamworth, with the Tony Missen and Graham Moon stables contesting the Glenn Tomlin Memorial Heats.
Missen has Maz and Hes Our Boy engaged while Moon will contest with Chinook Winds and last-start winner Smiles From Heaven.
Harness racing will return to the Tamworth Paceway on July 19.
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