Day At The Track

Journeyman to call Leeton home

12:00 PM 08 Apr 2020 NZST
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King Fisher,Harness racing
King Fisher

Much-travelled freelance driver Adam Richardson is setting up a harness racing training establishment in the heart of the Riverina region in southern NSW.

Richardson and his partner Alanah Pitt recently made the move from Brisbane to call Leeton home and are excited to be working towards building up a nice team of horses.

"We've moved onto a 180-acre property which back in the day was used as a harness racing training complex. So, with a bit of hard work and a tidy up, it'll soon be ship-shape," Richardson said.

"I grew up in Wagga, while Alanah is a Leeton girl, so obviously one of the main reasons for the shift was to get back closer to family," he said.

Richardson admits he was perhaps a late bloomer in getting interested in the sport.

"I was right into cricket. That was all I would think about when I was a youngster. I was probably at least 16 or 17 years old when my uncle Darren Richardson talked me into helping him with the horses," he said.

"And since then that's all it's ever been-I have never got back to playing cricket!".

Richardson said he got a big break when leading Brisbane horseman Darrell Graham took him under his wing and gave him a job.

"Darrell got me going in harness racing. He was fantastic and I'll always be grateful for his advice and what he taught me," he said.

"I then spent time with Tony Peacock when he was based at Kilmore. Tony was flying at the time. He was right up there on the metropolitan leading trainers' board and ended up finishing second."

Richardson had another stint at the Graham stable, before again being lured south by Peacock, who had transferred his stable operations to Moama, on the NSW side of the Murray River from Echuca.

"I was shifting about, but I was forever learning about the industry," he said.

Richardson again got the travel bug and once again packed his bags for the Sunshine State, giving away the training side and concentrating on establishing himself as a freelance driver.

2017-18 was Richardson's breakout season, landing 76 winners and 136 placings for stakes of $360,000.

"That was by far my best-ever season in the cart-I'd always been around the 20 to 30 winners mark before that," he said.

The following year saw Richardson crank it up even further, cracking the ton for the first time and ending up with 116 wins and 193 placings for over $660,000.

"I was lucky to get involved with some good stables, such as Charlie Cini and his wife Cristina Monte, and also Ian Gurney. As well there was great support from a whole bunch of little trainers," he said.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my last three years in Queensland. I did miss it earlier this week when it turned quite cool in Leeton and the day took ages to warm up.

"I admit I was jokingly questioning myself about the decision to move. But honestly, we are looking forward to it. We have nine in work and everything will turn out okay."

Richardson hasn't wasted anytime in getting amongst the winners after the recent move.

He landed three in three days at meetings held at Wagga, including a double for trainer Kim Hillier with King Fisher (Mr Feelgood-Shelly Lobell (Jeremy Lobell) and Miss Rixon (Modern Art-Sabina (Torado Hanover).


Adam Richardson and King Fisher – the first leg of a winning double at Wagga last Friday

"It's a one-and-a-half hour trip down to Wagga from home, but the track is awesome. Hopefully I can keep having some success," he said.

While Richardson has the form on the board, it won't be long before Pitt makes a name for herself.

The former Leeton High School student grew up around horses and came through the pony trots circuit. She has shown plenty of poise and skill since landing her first winner, Lancelot Hall, at Wagga in May, 2018.

 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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