17 September 2013 - Local trotting mare Waikare Patricia has been honoured by Harness Racing Australia with the "Aged Trotting Mare of the Year" Award. The Longlea-owned mare, trained by Graham McDermott had an outstanding year winning 8 of her 16 starts and earned just shy of $100,000 on the track. The mare's lifetime earnings are over $120,000. Waikare Patricia stands in elite company as a Vancleve Trotting Award recipient. Others to get gongs this year were Vulcan (Australian Trotter of the Year and Aged Trotter- Horse/Gelding of the Year); Blitzthemcalder (3yo Trotter Colt/ Gelding of the Year); Habibti (3yo Trotting Filly of the Year); Im Stately 2yo Trotter Colt Gelding of the Year) and Claudy Princess (2yo Trotter of the Year). Waikare Patricia is a credit to McDermott who he himself can boast having an outstanding pedigree. He is a third generation horseman who trains a boutique racing team. He established himself within Victoria’s highly competitive training ranks from his base at the same Longlea property (near Bendigo) where his late father Henry prepared pacers the calibre of Gosh and Springfield Rajah. Since June 2012, Graham has fulfilled the role of number two trainer alongside renown trotting specialist Chris Lang at his stunning Nagambie farm. The Goulburn Valley opportunity has been another invaluable learning experience for the former accomplished junior driver who worked alongside some of the best trainers in the business including Graham Johannesen, John and Michael Langdon and Brian Gath before forging his own career as a specialist juvenile educator and pre-trainer. McDermott said he is over the moon at Waikare Patricia winning the award. "She has had a great year and its terrific that she has achieved this award," McDermott said. "The next 12 months for her is going to be really interesting and exciting."
McDermott's first significant training triumph was former rogue pacer Snappy Sections with whom he won 12 races in the late 1990’s and celebrated his first metropolitan victory at Moonee Valley. But he is best known in more recent times as the mentor of Romeo Castle, a winner of 20 races and over $200,000 in prize money including the Group Two Victoria Sires’ Classic and Ararat Pacing Cup. He also has a particular fondness for square gaiters and brought up his first Group One success in the 2011 SA Trotters’ Derby with Waikare Aristocrat, a homebred son of Inter Dominion placegetter Waikare Gold who also finished runner-up in The Holmfield at Group Three level as a three-year-old.
But its been Waikare Aristocrat’s half sister Waikare Patricia which flown the stable flag with distinction and now honour during the 2012/13 season. The daughter of Last Sunset won the Fonterra Dairies Vicbred Platinum Trotting Mares Sprint Group last December, then raced in great form before taking at the Vicbred Platinmum Metropolitan Trot Final Group 2 in May. The mare capped her year winning the Glenferie Farm Kahdon Trot Group 2 in June. Aside from his training commitments – both for the Lang stable and a small group of private clients including Raceapacer - McDermott is a strong supporter of his wife Tanya’s work with the Northern Standardbred Riding Group and re-educating and rehoming standardbreds for a life outside racing as pleasure horses. - David Aldred with the files of Raceapacer.
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