30 November 2013 - Longlea reinsman Brian Gath has been inducted into the Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Fame in recognition of his successful career.
Gath joins his father George and brother Neville as members of the illustrious club.
He was one of six inductees - four human and two equine - honoured at a dinner at Tabcorp Park in Melton on Wednesday night, hosted by Harness Racing Victoria and the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association. A typically humble Gath accepted a trophy marking his inclusion. "Thank you to whoever voted me in," he said.
"It's a great honour to be here, the same as my brother Neville and my dad and all the wonderful people who are in it." Since he began driving in 1963, Gath has amassed more than 3000 wins, been the leading Melbourne reinsman four times and the leading trainer twice. He drove more than 100 winners in a season 11 times, represented Australia in the World Drivers Championship and won 32 Group One races, including the 1978 Inter Dominion with Markovina. Others awarded Hall of Fame membership this week included reinsman Gavin Lang, the first driver or jockey to win 5000 races in the Southern Hemisphere; Will Whitbourn, the first to win 200 races in Melbourne and who was never suspended in his 39 years on the track; and driver, trainer, journalist and steward Keith Greenwood. Leading sire Meadow Vance and dam Dixie Love were also inducted. Another highlight of the night came when 2009 Hall of Fame member Maori's Idol - widely regarded as Australia's greatest trotter - was elevated to legend status. He was the first trotter in the Southern Hemisphere to break the two-minute mile in a barrier race, clocking 1:59.3 at Mooney Valley in 1977. Owned by Ric Healey, he still holds the Australasian record of 24 successive victories by a trotter and was the only trotter ever voted Australian Harness Horse of the Year. In retirement from the track with a record of 40 wins and four places from 46 starts, he became a leading sire of trotters that won almost $4 million in stakes. Maori's Idol died in 2006, aged 34, and is buried near the admission gates at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. The Club also has a wall of honour for the trotting champion and races the annual Group 2 Maori Mile in his honour. With the files of Raelee Tuckerman (Bendigo Advertiser)
19 November 2013 - Champion Veteran driver Dick Lee has taken out the second annual Veteran Drivers Trot Challenge at Bendigo's Lord's Raceway last Saturday night. Lee was one of 12 invited driver's who contested the event and took out the race sponsored by Travelcentre Bendigo driving rank outsider Montana Sky. The Heathcote trained trotter had won only one previous race and had not won for three years. Lee has had a string of outstanding horses over the years including Multiple Derby winner Rufus Young Blood, Bendigo Pacing Cup winner Rhodonite and the trotters Downsouth Clare, Game Oro, Hampdens Pride and Glenfield Girl.
17 November 2013 -The Bendigo Harness Racing Club has collected its fourth industry award in three years, winning the Best media coverage for Digital Media at last night's Gordon Rothacker Medal and Country Clubs Awards at Melton.In the past three years the Club has won the Best Country Race Club (2012) and three industry awards for media and promotion. BHRC General Manager David Aldred was at Melton to receive this year's award. Bendigo journalists, Nicole Ferrie (Deputy Editor Bendigo Advertiser) and Raelee Tuckerman (Bendigo Advertiser) also won 2013 awards and were presented with their awards last night. Nicole won the HRV Media Award for Best News Story with her front page article on Sophie Goss, "Sophie Gorgeous" and Raelee won the Best Print Feature for her article on Tanya McDermott and the Northern Standardbred Riding Group. Read full Award Winners list and report:
16 November 2013 - Jazz King made it six victories from seven starts this season with a popular victory in the Tradelink Anniversary Cup at Lord's Raceway last night.
Driven by Greg Sugars the Shaun Kittel trained Jazz King was always in contol and safely held The Cavalier (Sammy Kilgour) who tested his motor most of the way to score by six metres. Jazz King is raced by Greg Fleming and was bred by Kerry Winazr and Lynne Pocock and was the last horse that local great, the late Ron Pocock trained. Giveusagrin (Daryl Douglas) finished third.
Dick Lee scored an upset win in the Travelcentre Bendigo Veteran Drivers Trot. His drive, Montana Sky was the outsider in the field and had not won for three years prior to last night's win. The 9 year old mare is trained by Kevin Hill at Heathcote and it was the second win from 45 starts for the daughter of Wagon Apollo.
Lee who has had a string of champions in his stable including the multiple Derby winner Rufus Young Blood and Bendigo Cup winner Rhodonite said he loves driving trotters and he was thrilled to be invited to drive in the feature and to win the trophy was a bonus.
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