By Duane Ranger
Expect to see Sky Racing’s Brittany Graham saluting the judge more often now she’s back living in her home state.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham had made the decision to return home, where she intended to drive more as well as continue her work for Sky Racing - initially from home and then its soon-to-be-opened Brisbane base.
The 24-year-old broadcaster, who grew up around horses, has now driven two winners and a third from four starts since relocating back to Fernvale from Sydney last week.
Graham has now driven more than 240 career winners, with more than $1.2 million in prize money earned.
“I made the decision to head home on the Tuesday, and within 24 hours I was back where I wanted to be,” Graham said.
“I’m still working for Sky Racing, but the aim is to carry on helping out my sister (Stephanie) and drive a little more.”
It was through her sister that Graham got the drive behind the Alex Johnstone trained Camroller (9) in the last race at Albion Park on Saturday.
It was Graham’s only steer of the night and she got the outsider home at $24 odds.
Graham sat in the one-one position with the Johnstone trainee, before giving the Million Dollar Cam gelding his head, pacing away to win by 1.7m with a 1:57.8 mile rate over 2,138 metres.
“He’s the type that needs things to go his way, but when we landed the one-one he was travelling strongly, and I tried to hold him in that position for as long as I could because I knew there were a couple of speed horses behind us who were also waiting to make their move,” Graham said.
“Michael Boots bred and owns Camroller, and I hear he’s now for sale so I’m sure he will make someone else a very nice racehorse.”
It was the seven-year-old’s 12th win in 78 starts, as well as 17 placings for $69,867 in earnings.
Two days earlier, Graham also drove the Stephanie Graham trained Targaryen Hanover to a half-neck victory in the fourth race at Marburg.
The former Botra Queensland Young Drivers Champion said she was now determined to drive even more career winners.
“I really love driving. You can’t beat that winning feeling, but I also enjoy broadcasting a lot and will always be grateful to Kevin and Kay Seymour, who sent me to Sky Racing Academy Course in 2016,” Graham said.
In 2016, the Business Management/Marketing graduate was offered some casual work with Sky Racing and covered the New Zealand Cup in Christchurch that year.
“My career developed from there and I never changed my licence over when I relocated south - I’m still very much a proud Queenslander.”
“Dad (Darrel) taught me a lot about harness racing, I got the bug real early,” Graham said.
Meanwhile, the individual highlights at Albion Park Saturday night came from Stanmore trainer Darren Weeks and Patrick Estate reinsman, Peter McMullen.
Self-isolation didn’t stop Weeks from winning races two and five with The Bus (Ben Battle) and Major Cam (Natalie Rasmussen).
Both Weeks and Rasmussen went into a fortnight’s quarantine in late March after holidaying in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Peter McMullen drove the Peter Greig trained Just Rokin to win race three, and then saluted the judge again in race nine when the Graham Dwyer trained Greg The Great won by an increasing 6.7 metres.
McMullen solidified her second placing on the Driver’s Premiership, and with just under five months left in the season, has his sights firmly set on the pacing-making Nathan Dawson (120 wins).
At Albion Park, Dawson has reined 28 winners compared to McMullen’s 24.