ACE Tasmanian reinsman Gareth Rattray had to settle for a personal milestone instead of a state record when unable to drive a winner at the last meeting of the season in Hobart last Sunday night.
He notched his fifth consecutive driver’s premiership which is testament to the young reinsman’s dominance of Tasmania’s driving ranks in recent years.
Rattray went into the last meeting with 115 winners and needed four more to break the record of 118 that was set by his father Barrie Rattray in the 1990-91 season.
While it was a shade disappointing to have gone so close to the all time record, Gareth was more than pleased with the final result.
“I set a personal best for the season so that was good and while it would have been nice to break Dad’s record I’m not going to let it (missing record) spoil what was clearly my best season,” Rattray said.
As well as driving 115 winners Rattray also notched 85 seconds, 80 thirds and 63 fourths for almost $700,000 in stakes from 551 drives.
He finished 60 wins clear of his nearest rival Nathan Ford who had 55 wins, eight more than his father Scott Ford.
Rattray had a great association with some top horses including Benediction that is favourite to win the 2YO filly of the year award.
“Benediction won the Sweepstakes and the Evicus Stakes so she was clearly one of my standout drives and winning the Raider Stakes on Babyitsu was another big win for me,” Rattray said.
“Benediction looks to be a very promising filly and hopefully she can come back stronger as a 3YO and go on and win a couple of three-year-old features.”
“Babyitsu went to Victoria and did well but she’s back home in Tassie and I expect she will be my drive in some of the better feature races over the Christmas period,” he said.