With an astute mentor of the ‘babies’ in Bernie Hewitt, Battle is looking forward to what the new year may bring from his Peak Crossing stable.
“When I was with Bern there was plenty to learn, if I didn’t learn something it would have been a waste of time being there,” Battle said.
The COVID pandemic has had an effect in most facets of life and for Tamara and Ben, it has been no different.
Originally scheduled to be married in April, the couple postponed the nuptials along with a honeymoon booked for Singapore and The Maldives.
Weddings are stressful at the best of times; throw in a Global Pandemic into the mix and it certainly becomes a trying time.
Rescheduling the date of the big day to late August, the dreaded C word would again play another part in becoming the Battles.
An imminent border closure was again put forward by the Queensland Government, throwing the rescheduled plans into disarray once again.
Not to be deterred, Ben and Tamara, just like their move North, put faith in themselves and decided the wedding would be brought forward - immediately.
Having only earlier that week signed the contract on the new property, now they were planning a wedding in three days.
“On the Wednesday they said the border would be closing, so we got on the phone, rang everyone and said the wedding would be on the Saturday,” Battle said.
“It was great, but I certainly would not recommend it that’s for sure.”
True testament to the regard that the young couple are held in, they had over 50 people make the trek north from New South Wales to attend their wedding with three days’ notice and an impending border closure.
The Maldives may have been ruled out, but the young couple did manage to squeeze in a brief trip to Hamilton Island before heading back to the day-to-day of running a harness racing stable.
If the past season results are anything to go by, the pair look set to capitalise on the move, preparing more winners.
This latest season has been their best yet, preparing 25 winners with Ben also taking the opportunity to pick up outside drives, landing 37 wins for the season.
Whiskey Blaze, one of those that probably has a lot to do with the move north is still racing and is still competitive.
In-fact the gelding has scored another five victories since re-joining the Battle barn and is a last-start placegetter.
Starting to build the numbers, they have six two-year-olds that will be ready to come into work once they move onto the new property.
With most of the horses in the barn arriving from New South Wales, either with or since they moved, Ben is looking forward to having some QBRED-eligible horses in his barn.
Add to that his goal of working with more young stock and expanding the racing team, be ready for the Battles to make their mark.
Mafuta Vautin claimed the 30th victory of his career on Saturday night at Albion Park, equalling the number of wins of his sire Rollon Bigred in the process.
The chestnut is named after Rugby League legend Paul Vautin, Mafuta being a Swahili word that translated to English means ‘fat’.
Trained by Darrel Graham, Mafuta Vautin was driven patiently by Angus Garrard who utilised the passing lane to perfection, claiming victory by a head.
Garrard became the fifth driver to rein the gelding to victory, joining Darrel, Brittany Graham, Adam Sanderson and Grant Dixon who have all recorded a victory behind Mafuta Vautin.
Rollon Bigred was prepared by Darrel Graham in all bar two starts throughout his career, taking the stable all through the eastern states chasing feature race glory.
Highlights from his 30 career wins were victories in the two and four-year-old QBRED Triad Finals, the two and three-year-old QBRED Breeders Classic Finals, the Hamilton Cup and the Paleface Adios Stakes.
Mafuta Vautin reached his 30th career victory at start 130, while it took his sire only 76 starts to reach the same feat.