CONGRATULATIONS to Inverell’s Col Hobday who recently received the Contribution to Harness Racing in the North West Award.
Col has had a distinguished career in harness racing and continues to have a strong involvement.
Harness racing was not the first love for Col Hobday. He was a very competitive polocrosse player.
As a 19-year-old, Col was asked to drive a horse by the name of Fearless Master who led all the way and won.
It was stated to Col on his return to scale “now that you have driven that horse you will never get out of the gig”.
Col did take over the training of Fearless Master and produced 14 wins.
When informed of being presented with the Contribution to Harness Racing in the North West Award, Col’s response to Inverell HRC president Rod Miller was “it’s about time”.
Now aged 77 years, Col has not had any luck with his health of late but is still keen watching his horses be competitive and picking up some wins.
In his early days, Col Hobday also had a pacer by the name of Henry Scott who won at Harold Park in 1969.
In his “shed”, Col has 54 winning photos lining the walls – that was before the days of the introduction of videos and they reckon that collection has outweighed his photos.
It is safe to say that Col Hobday has trained more than 200 winners and driven at least 150 of those wins.
Domiciled at Inverell, Col has travelled many miles over the years to attend meetings at Tamworth, be competitive and travel back to Inverell on the same night, as well as supporting other tracks in northern NSW in Armidale, Narrabri and his home track of Inverell.
Col was, and still is, a staunch supporter of the show racing circuit.
Rolling forward, Col still enjoys his harness racing and had a horse with the Weidemann stables called East Ender who won 32 races. He also has horses racing in the Hunter Valley with trainer Cameron Davies at times as well as seeing recent winners in Western Safari and Bandan on local tracks.
Away from the horses, Col is the current vice-president of the Inverell HRC.
He is both a trials and show supervisor and was the official starter in the mobile at Inverell for more than 25 years.
GOOD luck to horses travelling away this weekend for competition, with Gottashopearly heading up the travellers’ list from the Richard Williams stables who will contest the Canterbury Bankstown City Council Cup at Bankstown on Friday night.
Menangle will have Keayang Sponge Bob from the Greg Coney stables and Cronin from the Mitch Faulkner stables contesting the $20,000 Club Menangle Country Series final on Saturday night.
Saturday will also see Wayne Gray travel to Dubbo with Shadow Dealer to contest the Dubbo RSL Club final after qualifying with a heat win at Dubbo at the beginning of the month.
To keep his match fitness, Shadow Dealer also had a win at Armidale last week so will be looking for three wins on the trot in the Dubbo run. Shadow Dealer is certainly paying his way with six wins and eight placings from 15 race starts.
HARNESS racing has returned to Tamworth after four meetings being hosted by the Armidale Club – a job well done to track curators John Enks, Jeff Enks and Paul Harper who had the track in tip-top condition all the way.
This was proven with a track record set by Clintal Do when the gelding shaved 0.8 of a second off the track record set by Lenny The Legend (1.57.9) back in March 2017 when he clocked 1.57.1 for 1609m.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.