New Zealand Trot­ting Club Tri­umph – An­other first for Ladies in Rac­ing

Ladies in Racing - - Contents -

The horse she pi­loted, Ar­den Rooney, is also trained by Ker­ryn. So she be­came the first woman to train a NZ Cup win­ner also. Of course win­ning is noth­ing new for Ker­ryn – she has won more than 3,500 races dur­ing her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, but this win was ex­tra spe­cial to her. “I re­mem­ber watch­ing this race as a young child, think­ing how great it would be to win and now my dream has been ful­filled,” Ker­ryn said post-race, as cam­eras beamed pic­tures of an elated ‘Aussie’ lady aboard her sta­ble star pacer across Aus­trala­sia. In Aus­tralia trot­ting fans were ec­static. The pop­u­lar girl from Great Western in Vic­to­ria had beaten the best in the busi­ness. “I prob­a­bly ap­pre­ci­ate this (win) more be­cause I’m a bit older – all the suc­cess I had when I was young, I sort of took for granted,” Ker­ryn said when asked where the vic­tory stood along­side her other ca­reer high­lights. And there have been many. In sea­son 2002-03 Ker­ryn be­came the first Aus­tralian driver – male or fe­male – to notch more than 300 win­ners in a sin­gle sea­son. So be­guiled was the town­ship of Great Western, they erected a sign on the main road which still stands to­day, re­mind­ing all passers through that Ker­ryn Man­ning is a lo­cal. In 1997 she be­came the first lady to drive a win­ner in both the South­ern and North­ern Hemi­sphere’s with vic­tory aboard trot­ter Knight Pis­tol in Nor­way. Last sea­son she be­came the youngest ever re­cip­i­ent of Vic­to­rian har­ness rac­ing’s cov­eted in­dus­try hon­our, the Gor­don Rothacker Medal. Ker­ryn has also won nu­mer­ous Group 1 races in Aus­tralia, but the Ad­ding­ton suc­cess in Novem­ber has be­come “the great­est win of my ca­reer”, she said. Gen­der in­equal­ity in har­ness rac­ing is a dis­tant mem­ory. Ker­ryn, who is 39, re­calls things be­ing a bit dif­fer­ent when she started out.

“The num­ber of girls in the sport has tripled at least since I started,” she said. “There are a lot of girls com­ing through the ranks. “Horses some­times run (bet­ter) for girls. It’s funny how it works and some­times it doesn’t make sense … but some horses just go so much bet­ter for some peo­ple. We have a lot of girls com­ing through the ranks who are do­ing re­ally well.”

Ladies in har­ness rac­ing nowa­days don’t just com­pete on an even keel with the men, quite of­ten they dom­i­nate.

A quick glance at the Mel­bourne metropoli­tan driv­ers’ premier­ship re­veals three of the top 10 are fe­male, with 25-year-old Amanda Turn­bull and 32-year-old Kate Gath join­ing Ker­ryn on the chart.

More im­por­tantly, in the ju­nior driv­ing ranks, it is a sim­i­lar story with three of the top 10 con­ces­sion driv­ers in Vic­to­ria be­ing young ladies – Emma Ham­blin, Donna Cas­tles and Lisa Bart­ley.

Last sea­son’s lead­ing Vic­to­rian Metropoli­tan and State-wide Trainer was Emma Ste­wart, whose 48 metropoli­tan vic­to­ries in 12 months eclipsed a who’s who of lead­ing trot­ting train­ers for the last decade. No one had had near 48 wins.

SEVEN DAYS AF­TER JOCKEY MICHELLE PAYNE BE­CAME THE FIRST LADY JOCKEY TO WIN THE MEL­BOURNE CUP ABOARD PRINCE OF PEN­ZANCE, AN­OTHER VIC­TO­RIAN, HAR­NESS DRIVER KER­RYN MAN­NING, WON HAR­NESS RAC­ING’S EQUIV­A­LENT – THE RACE THAT STOPS A NA­TION IN NEW ZEALAND,

THE NEW ZEALAND TROT­TING CUP.

Five ladies, Emma Ste­wart, Ni­cole Molan­der, Belinda Mccarthy, Amanda and Ker­ryn fin­ished in­side the top 10 on the metropoli­tan train­ers’ premier­ship. Around Aus­tralia it’s a sim­i­lar sce­nario. In New South Wales, the top two metropoli­tan train­ers are Kerry Ann Turner and Belinda while 22-year-old Lau­ren Panella, won last year’s NSW driv­ing premier­ship by a huge mar­gin, when she had 167 wins all up. In Queens­land, Vicki Ras­mussen is the lead­ing Metropoli­tan Trainer and Chan­tal Turpin is se­cond on the State Train­ers’ ti­tle. In South Aus­tralia, Danielle Hill is com­fort­ably in first place on their State Driv­ers’ premier­ship. The fact that Ker­ryn’s mo­men­tous achieve­ment came hot on the heels of Michelle Payne’s, thrust horse rac­ing into the na­tional spot­light for all the right rea­sons twice in the space of seven days. Be­fore she took her po­si­tion in the sulky be­hind Ar­den Rooney at Ad­ding­ton in the two-mile Group 1, Ker­ryn Man­ning said she was proud of Michelle’s achieve­ment. “Good on her,” Ker­ryn de­clared, when asked what she thought of Michelle’s now fa­mous; “be­cause ladies can do any­thing and we can beat the world!”

Story by Cody Win­nell – Har­ness Rac­ing Vic­to­ria

Ar­den Rooney win­ning and TOP: Ker­ryn Man­ning cel­e­brat­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.