Day At The Track

All's good in Wayne's World

10:00 AM 27 Mar 2020 NZDT
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trainer Wayne Ferguson, who was successful with Ghanasuya. Strapper Tony Campbell and victorious driver Michael Bellman are also pictured,Harness racing
The first leg of a winning double for trainer Wayne Ferguson, who was successful with Ghanasuya. Strapper Tony Campbell and victorious driver Michael Bellman are also pictured. Maryborough HRC presented brightly wrapped toilet rolls, which are in short su

Ararat hobby trainer Wayne Ferguson has been thoroughly enjoying his comeback to harness racing even more so now after a recent Maryborough meeting.

Ferguson made the 120km drive with his stable team of two horses, hoping that his first runner could win "if everything went right".

And to his delight, the popular horseman landed his first-ever training double when it all worked out fine.

"Both Ghanasuya and Gottahaveahobbie have been racing well, but I was really pinning my hopes on the first one," Ferguson said.

"It certainly was a thrill and when I got home, I went out for tea with my partner Rosemary Preston and had a couple of drinks to celebrate," he said.

Ghanasuya (Mr Feelgood-The Princess Poet (Christian Cullen) was driven a treat by one of Victoria's leading freelance drivers in Michael Bellman. After beginning well, they took the sit behind Sassys A Terror (Greg Sugars).

With an easy first half of 62.2 secs in a sprint race, the tempo was always going to hot up and Ghanasuya was looking the goods a long way out. The gelding worked home nicely, and courtesy of the sprint lane, got the chocolates by a few metres.

"He hasn't been far away in his races this season with four placings prior to the Maryborough victory. I thought his Charlton and Swan Hill efforts last month when he ran third both times were good," Ferguson said.

In the very next race, four-year-old Gottahaveahobbie (Well Said-Ay Tee Em (Mach Three) posted one of the eye-catching runs of the meeting with an impressive victory in the Bendigo HRTC Concession Drivers Pace, for those who haven't had 25 winners.

Reinsman Jason Ainsworth, handling the pacer for the first time, scored top marks for his exhibition. After settling midfield, he sat quietly until the 450m mark before whipping around in the blink of an eye. The pair powered away to win easily in 1.57-4.

Ferguson said Gottahaveahobbie, known around the stables as Louie, just loved the Maryborough circuit.

"He's probably had four trials there and won them all. And now I've raced him at the track on three occasions for two wins and a third," he said.

Ferguson, who owns both horses in partnership with his brother-in-law Bill Campbell, said they were lucky to end up with Gottahaveahobbie after deciding to bid for him at a Ready To Run sale in Sydney.

"We pulled out at $15k, and another bloke ended up going to $20k. We were on our way home and got a telephone call to say the horse had just been left there and the winning bidder was nowhere to be found," he said.

"So we agreed to pay $15k which was our last bid. He ran 4th at Geelong at his first start and then 2nd at Mt Gambier before doing a suspensory in his back leg. He was off the scene for over 12 months, but now has four wins and nine placings for over $25k.

"He's going to be a nice horse because he has such a powerful sprint."

Ferguson followed his father Stan into harness racing and the pair enjoyed a reasonable amount of success more than 25 years ago with such horses as tough campaigner Derricks First, who held a track record at Mt Gambier at one stage, and the talented Reneko.

"Dad was the trainer and I did the driving. It worked out really well. I probably drove for about four years and then gave it away when dad was having health problems," he said.

"I've been back for 18 months and I was lucky to again race the horses in dad's old racing colors of purple with a green V. My partner Rosemary isn't from a harness racing background, but she is now hooked and enjoying the horses."

Ferguson said he was loving the training aspect, and really had no plans to go back to race driving.

"I'll leave that to the experts, although it would be convenient so that I could drive at the trials."

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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