By Duane Ranger
Clarendon trainer, Trent Dawson, has never been big on statistics, and that’s why his 500th driving win at Albion Park on Saturday night came as a bit of a surprise.
“I was told a while back I was getting close, and sure I’m proud of the achievement, but I’ve never been big on numbers.
“My main objective has always been about making our way and paying the bills. That’s why I gave up free-lance driving a few years ago. I’ve never placed a lot of emphasis on statistics,” Dawson stressed.
The 34-year-old notched up his 500th victory behind the 9-year-old gelding he trains south of Brisbane – Hard To Hear. It was the son of Grinfromeartoear’s 19th career win, and third in a row.
“I’ve always wanted to train my own team, and I’m happy the 500th winner came up behind this fella, because he’s an honest bread and butter horse.
“I owe a lot to my fiancée, Crystal (Towns), who has been a huge help, and I wouldn’t have achieved this milestone without her. We are working a team of about 11, and enjoy what we do. We just want to keep those winners rolling home,” said Dawson, who is also Dad to 16-month old Matilda.
Dawson’s drive behind Hard To Hear was inch-perfect. They sprinted hard along the passing lane to beat favourite Maywyns Best by half-a-head. The win dividend was a surprising $9.80.
It was Hard To Hear’s eighth win on the track. The bay paced the 1,660m mobile in 1:57.6, which equated to a 1:54 mile rate. His sectionals were: 27.3, 30.5, 28, and 28.3.
It was 17 years and 11 months ago when Dawson, then aged 16, drove his very first winner.
“I remember it well. It was on the Gold Coast behind the horse Dad (Geoff) trained named Smokey Dee. I’d placed on him before. He was an old favourite. A tough old buggar,” said Dawson, a former employee of the University Of Queensland’s Vet Clinic in Gatton.
But today the Somerset horseman is a quality driver, living his dream - working his own team.
“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and I enjoy working with the horses. You would have to say Hard To Hear is our best horse, because he was our last winner,” Dawson said.
He paid a tribute to his parents Geoff and Gail, who had supported him throughout his career.
“I’m very grateful to them both. Dad taught me heaps. I hope I can keep winning for them, Crystal and Matilda,” Dawson said.
Meanwhile, Dawson’s younger sister Kelli, was one of five women who banked $1,200 for Ovarian Cancer on Saturday night, as part of the Team Teal 2020 Campaign, which runs from February 1 to March 15.
The Queensland Team tally now stands at $9,000.
Here’s how the women won six of the 10 races:
Race 1: Lola Weidemann comes from three-deep and wide to win behind the Peter Shepherdson trained Kid Montana.
Race 5: Trista Dixon arrives late from back in the field to score behind the Grant Dixon trained Cherrys The Best.
Race 6: Narissa McMullen dictates all the pace and then puts a gap in them at the 300m behind the Ron Sallis trained Major Currency and then repeats the dose in Race 8 behind the Stephen Cini trained Quietly Spoken.
Race 7: Kelli Dawson leads all the way and gets the very best out of the Ian Gurney trained 12yo veteran Mach Alert in Race 10 – the $14,000 Open Pace.
Race 10: Nikki Chalk sits parked and then picks Slippery Jade up from the canvas at the 300m behind the Bill Crosby trained Slippery Jade to get there by a nose. Drive of the night with Lola.
The Team Teal Leaderboard currently reads: Narissa McMullen 14 wins; Taleah McMullen 7 wins; Kylie Rasmussen 7 wins; Lola Weidemann 4 wins; Nikki Chalk 3 wins; Chantal Turpin 2 wins; Trista Dixon 2 wins; Dannielle McMullen, Madi Dux, Chloe Butler, Kelli Dawson – all one win apiece.
Leader, McMullen, had this to say about Team Teal:
“It’s such a great cause, and I’m so proud to be able to raise money and awareness for medical research. Two out of three women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die. That is sad. I just want to keep winning.”
Meanwhile, in New South Wales, two Queensland pacers won at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night, taking out the last two races on the 11-race card.
The Grant Dixon trained and driven Governor Jujon justified his $1.40 favouritism when winning from gate one in the $20,400 fourth heat of the New South Wales Derby. Mile rate: 1:56.8.
Twenty five minutes later the Wayne Graham trained and Leonard Cain driven Justalittle Torque, nailed the $20,400 Woodstock Ladyship Pace at odds of $8. Mile rate: 1:52.6.