Sidmouth harness trainer sets record with 1054 starters

Leading harness trainer Ben Yole has set another Tasmanian record for the most number of starters in a season.

Yole had 16 runners in Hobart last Friday night and another 23 at Mowbray on Sunday to take his total number of starters this season to 1054.

ONE OF MANY: Recent Devonport winner Jane Grant has been among trainer Ben Yole's 1054 runners so far this season. It's a Tasmanian record and the second highest tally in Australia.

ONE OF MANY: Recent Devonport winner Jane Grant has been among trainer Ben Yole's 1054 runners so far this season. It's a Tasmanian record and the second highest tally in Australia.

He has already surpassed his 2015-16 record of 1046 starters and there is still 3-1/2 months of the current season remaining.

Even though Tasmania has far less meetings than the bigger states, Yole is a close second on the national table behind Queensland trainer Grant Dixon who has had 1159 starters.

To put Yole's figures into perspective, former premiership-winning trainers Neville Webberley, Wayne Rattray, Barrie Rattray and Phillip Ford had only half as many runners in their busiest seasons.

As usual, Yole’s Sidmouth operation has another busy weekend coming up.

He has a massive 32 runners at Mowbray on Friday night and 21 in Hobart on Sunday night.

With 77 winners already on the board and 22 meetings to go, Yole is a good chance to top the ton for the second season in a row.

WESLEY VALE trainer John Castles was the standout performer last weekend.

Castles took only four horses to the Mowbray meeting and went home with three winners – Dayraid, Spot Eight and Chirac.

It was Chirac’s second win in a row while Spot Eight has won four races this season and Dayraid three (two for Castles and one for Andrew Rawlings).

Castles has also won three races with Art Of My Art to be equal ninth on the trainers’ premiership.                                                

His 11 wins for the season have come from only 49 runners at a good strike rate of 22.4 per cent.

NO TASMANIANS are among this year’s inductions into the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame but there is one new member with a strong connection to the state.

Victorian trainer Des Judd scored probably the biggest win of a four-decade career with Tasmanian-owned and bred stayer Beer Street in the 1970 Caulfield Cup.

Beer Street was inducted into the Tasmanian Racing Hall Of Fame in its second year in 2006.

His Caulfield Cup win came towards the end of Judd’s career after he had been a dominant figure during the 1950s and ‘60s.

He won the Victorian trainers’ premiership three times.

Also inducted this year were racehorses Winx, Light Fingers, Saintly and Archer; jockeys Johnny Miller and Tommy Corrigan; trainer Brian Courtney and associates Lloyd Williams (owner), Alan Bell (steward) and the Lee-Steere family from Western Australia.

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