By Duane Ranger
It was an afternoon to remember at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday.
Nineteen-year-old Morrinsville junior reinsman, Scott Iremonger, not only drove his first winner, but managed to nail it behind his father’s trainee - $48.90 outsider, Atom Hanover.
“I’m still buzzing,” Iremonger said several hours after the race. “It’s taken me 13 drives and I’m so proud to have done it on Dad’s horse. He is my inspiration.
“Dad has helped me from the day I got into the horses, and he gave me more than 50 workout drives when I had my trials license. He has also given me every opportunity to drive his horses on race-day. I’m so proud today,” Iremonger said.
“Dad must have known something because before I went out he told me to salute the judge when I won,” he added.
Iremonger got the trail behind Idealistic, and then after a pacing lane sprint, rallied to hold out favourite Rock N Shard (Scott Phelan) by half a length.
“I knew that when James (Stormont) came around with Idealistic he was the prefect one to trail, because he’s a good judge of pace and seldom hands up. It panned out beautifully,” Iremonger said.
Iremonger acknowledged several Waikato horsemen who contributed to his success.
“Mike Berger, for giving me workout and race drives; Colin Butler for letting me drive his good horse Charlemagne; Philip Butcher for mentoring me with my driving; and Roger Villiger, who helped me get a foot in the harness racing game,” Iremonger said.
A race earlier Lyn Neal steered Credit Master to claim the hotly contested 2017-2018 Dunstan Feeds Horse-of-the-Year title. Credit Master is trained and owned by Lyn and her husband Andrew at Cambridge.
Credit Master went into Sunday’s meeting with a one-point lead over Somewhereinbrooklyn who only manged to finish third on the night and retained his runner-up place in the standings.
Another highlight of the evening was Sailesh Abernethy's 200th career winner behind the Jay Abernethy (brother) trained Caroline Wozniacki in race two.
The milestone came just three seasons after Abernethy nailed his century late in the 2014-2015 season. Abernethy has now had 1,862 career drives since he first got in the bike in 2009-2010. He's also placed 366 times and won $1.55m in stakes. Trotters have provided 49 of his winners.
This season has also been Abernethy’s most lucrative with stake earnings of $347,156. His 29 wins this season are 18 fewer than his previous best recorded in 2014-2015.
Condensed results from the Waikato - Bay Of Plenty Harness Club's July 1 meeting were:
Race 1: The Roger Villiger (Cambridge) trained SPARE CHANGE (6 B m Changeover - Abz (by Live Or Die) Warren Rich (a).
Race 2: The Jay Abernethy (Papakura) trained CAROLINE WOZNIACKI (3 b f Majestic Son-Meander In The Sun(by Sundon) Sailesh Abernethy (200th winning drive).
Race 3: The Brian & Gareth Hughes (Ardmore) trained FEEL THE BURN (3 b f Somebeachsomewhere - Maheer Princess (by Christian Cullen) Maurice McKendry.
Race 4: The Rachel Holmes (Thames) trained PRIME SILVER (5 ch m P-Forty-Seven - Jupiter Franco (by Live Or Die) Alicia Harrison (j).
Race 5: The Andrew & Lyn Neal (Cambridge) trained CREDIT MASTER ( Muscle Mass- Jessicas Credit (by Credit Winner) Lyn Neal.
Race 6: The Dave Iremonger (Morrinsville) trained ATOM HANOVER (6 b g Righteous Hanover - Atom Patron (by Soky's Atom) Scott Iremonger (j) - first winning drive.
Race 7: The Ray Green (Pukekohe) trained LINCOLN ROAD (3 b g Sir Lincoln - Tania Tandias (by Falcon Seelster) Zachary Butcher.
Race 8: The John & Josh Dickie (Clevedon) trained HALLMARKED (3 br g Washington VC - Bonsoir (by Armbro Operative) Zachary Butcher.
Top Driver: Zachary Butcher 2 wins.
Top Junior Driver: Scott Iremonger (j) - first winning drive and Alicia Harrison – one win apiece.
Top Trainer: Eight races and eight winning trainers.
Top Stallion: Eight races and eight winning stallions.
Extensive results can be viewed here: https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/d...