16 May 2014 - Huntly trainer Darren Manton steered home his first ever winner and his horse 7yo Prettyboyearl also won its first race at Ballarat last Saturday night. Manton, a trainer and father of young driver Ash and junior Pony Trot driver Joe was having only his 13th career drive and in his own words "silenced some critics" with the Ballarat Pony Trots Victoria Trot victory. Problem horse and late bloomer Prettyboyearl scored by more than 6 metres from Herecomeskayla (Jim O'Sullivan) after overcoming a break at the start and having to race outside the leader. "He (Prettyboyearl) has been a bit of a handful," Manton said. "I've been driving him and some of my others horses in trials to try and sort them out, but the only way to find out what's really going wrong is to drive them in a race." "This horse has taken three years so he has been a project." Prettyboyearl was having just his sixth race start and started at odds of $3.00. Manton who was in earthmoving full time before taking ill in recent years decided to get his drivers licence last year. "I just didn't have the time or couldn't commit to driving when I was working full time," he said. It was fitting that Manton won his first race in the Pony Trots Victoria sponsored trotting race as the Manton family are great Pony Trot supporters. Darren's wife Debbie, his mum Marg and sons Ash and Joe all play a role in the success of Victoria's Pony Trots.
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