Keeping Pace: Brad Elder leads Tamworth drivers' premiership

Happy birthday: Up and coming junior driver Emma Ison, seen here driving Fear No Evil to a win, turned 17 on Thursday. Picture: Coffee Photography
Happy birthday: Up and coming junior driver Emma Ison, seen here driving Fear No Evil to a win, turned 17 on Thursday. Picture: Coffee Photography

With the 2017-18 racing season about to come to a close, premierships are a hot topic of discussion – and in Tamworth, Hunter Valley reinsman Brad Elder is leading the drivers’ premiership with 28 wins from 125 drives.

Lola Weidemann is running close behind with 23 wins from 158 drives. Dean Chapple has 17 wins from 140 drives, Stacey Weidemann has 13 wins from 111 drives and Mitch Faulkner has 12 wins from 57 drives.

The trainers’ premiership has Lola Weidemann well out in front with 37 wins from 271 starters. Tamworth trainer Richard Williams has 14 wins from 111 starters, and Mitch Faulkner has 14 wins from 51 starters.

The Weidemanns were missing from Thursday’s Tamworth meeting. They are competing at the Brisbane Show on Friday night and over the weekend.

Tom Ison looks set to once again take out the North West junior drivers’ premiership, with 17 winning drives so far for the season.

Tom has been off the local scene recently after making the move to the Hunter Valley to drive for the Roy Roots Jnr stables and he is enjoying success down there including driving the winner of the Newcastle Derby – The Black Prince - for the stables in July. He continued on his winning way last Saturday night with yet another winner in Glengarry Rose.

WE have a little overseas news this week to highlight some Australian content.

Australasian champion Lazarus will line up in the $325,000 Dan Patch – a race named in honour of the renowned standardbred of the early 1900s, to be raced at 11.50am AEST on Saturday at Hoosier Park in the United States.

The Dan Patch attracts the best in the sport, and Lazarus, (35 wins from 45 career starts), and now trained by Swedish horseman Jimmy Takter, has scored the visitors’ barrier draw of nine.

There will be another Aussie factor in the great race, with Peter Tritton, father of Menangle trainer Shane Tritton, having a runner in Bit Of A Legend from the five barrier.

Tritton Snr, who resides in upstate New York, will return to Hoosier Park for the first time since his early days in the States, to contest the Dan Patch with the former NZ pacer.

"He's as good as he's ever been," said Tritton, who trains Bit Of A Legend for the Vonknoblauch stable.

"As long as you keep him happy he'll just go out and try for you. You've got to let him be the boss a little bit. He's likes to think he's getting away with stuff. We treat him like that and it makes him feel good.”

KERRYN Manning is a name that has been around harness racing for quite a while now and the Victorian reinswoman is about to rekindle some former friendships from many years ago.

The record-breaking Aussie celebrates the 21st anniversary of her most amazing achievement when she heads back to Scandinavia this weekend.

In 1997, Manning teamed with star Aussie trotter Knight Pistol to win the Harley Davidson Trot in Norway, becoming just the second female to drive a Group 1 winner in Europe.

Manning made such an impact with that win and during an extended stint driving Knight Pistol in Europe, she got a call “out of the blue” from Swedish officials with an all-expenses-paid trip across to drive in the Ahlsell Legends Invitational Drivers’ race at Solvalla in Stockholm on August 14.

“It’s half a lifetime ago, literally, for me. I can’t believe they still remember,” Manning said.

“It was only three or four weeks ago I had a missed call from a Swedish number and I thought it might have been one of those scam calls. I listened back to the message and it was the invite to come across for this race.”

NEXT Friday’s Tamworth harness meeting will be action-packed with heats of the HRNSW Rewards Series, two $10,000 Menangle Country Series races and the running of the $8000 Psarakis Accounting Marathon.