Day At The Track

It's the love of the game for Tassie trainer

02:00 PM 19 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Ben Yole and Samantha Gangell
Ben Yole and Samantha Gangell

High achieving Tasmanian trainer Ben Yole says a love for the sport of harness racing is the driving force behind his success.

It's not unusual for the Yole stable to have well over 40 horses competing at a single meeting all around the Apple Isle, with occasionally eight or nine in the one event!

But despite the physical and logistical demands (of which there are plenty!) there's no waning in Ben Yole's enthusiasm, or his efforts to find that next "handy one".

"It's a hard gig at times. You do have to keep pushing, but I can say that the thrill and satisfaction of getting winners is always a big help," Yole said.

"I'm lucky to have hard-working staff, loyal owners and a good bunch of drivers. Otherwise it just wouldn't be happening," he said.

Apart from the predictable routine of jogging, washing, rugging, mixing up feeds, mucking out manure, checking for loose shoes and keeping an eye on the general welfare of 60-plus equine athletes, there are also the dozens of add-on tasks (and unexpected challenges) that can easily throw a day off.

Then there's also the chore most try to avoid - cleaning harness before fast work days and race meetings.

Ben Yole hard at work on the job no-one wants – sorting out harness for up to 40 runners at a Tasmanian meeting

"I haven't come across too many people who enjoy getting the harness and gear ready. It's time consuming and something that seems to land in my lap fairly often. But that's okay," Yole said.

The stable uses four horse trucks as well as four floats to transport their runners to compete at meetings.

The Team Yole fleet – four trucks and four floats, ready for the races

But once on-course, things are like a well-oiled machine with each stable member carrying out set tasks.

"We race everywhere. It's only 30 to 40 minutes to Launceston, but then there are meetings at Hobart which is three hours away. We also do Devonport and Burnie," Yole said.

Yole gained a wealth of experience when living on the mainland. He spent time working for such astute horsemen as Jim Barker and Kevin Brough, at Hamilton in south west Victoria, but has made his own mark since shifting to Tasmania nearly 10 years ago.

The Yole family consists of Ben and Catherine; Ben's brothers Tim and Mark and Mark's wife Dani; and their parents Wayne and Louise. The stable is based at Sidmouth, a small rural community in the Western Tamar Valley region.

Apart from family, Ben Yole attributes his success to a good string of drivers including Rohan Hadley, Troy McDonald, Kyle Pratten, Gareth Rattray and Samantha Gangell.

A bag of four winners at Devonport last weekend took Yole past the century mark again-something he's achieved ever since the 2015-16 season. This season's magical 100 winners reached in record time so it's well on the cards that the stable could topple its all-time benchmark of 181 winners in 2018-19.

And as if the demands are not enough in Tasmania, Team Yole is not ruling out an interstate mission again this year. The stable got the perfect kick-start to the season with a Victorian campaign that netted 15 wins and 33 placings for over $100,000 in stakes. And a similar trip, perhaps in late July, is likely to come into calculations.

"We are working about 60 at the moment, but we do seem to have a better quality this season which helps a lot, so everything's on the table," Yole said.

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

 

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