Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Gath legend continues

Recent stories

Peter Hibberd, The Buloke Times

At Charlton last Friday, Brian Gath at the tender age of 79 years drove another winner. And in a career spanning over 60 years and over 3,500 winners, this is an amazing feat. 

Brian’s first winner was behind a horse called Tobacco Smoke at the Royal Melbourne Show in 1960. He has achieved wins in what I class as the two feature races – The Interdominion and The Miracle Mile.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Last year, he was awarded the Gordon Rothacker Medal for his contribution to the industry. His winner last Friday was on a trotter called Maori Franklin for trainer and long-time mate, Brian Kiesey. He sat outside the leader to win by the barest of margins.

After returning from France, Ryan Sanderson drove two winners. Followers of the favourites did not have a good day with only one winner. An interesting fact of the day was horses leading or sitting outside the leader won 6 of the 8 races. All winners received gifts from the Charlton club.

Race results

  • Race one: Brian Gath.
  • Race two: In a driver career consisting of only four drives, concession driver Lauren White has achieved two wins; both have been on the White family owned I’m Miss Royalty. Having a good trail in the race, it won by a slender margin. The White family has only trotters in the stable. Lauren’s mother Sue said they had recently purchased a pacer for Lauren to learn from.
  • Race three: At start number 25, Demon Reactor won its first race for driver Michael Bellman and owner/trainer Bill Kucks. Bill trains from Oakleigh South (near Cranbourne), and said it will be a short trip home.
  • Race four: Petreos, driven by Ryan Sanderson led all the way for an easy win; another horse that likes racing at the Charlton track; six starts for three wins and two placings.
  • Race five: Dream Asset driven by Declan Murphy was able to lead all the way to win in a 1.58.0 mile rate. Declan is another one of a very promising list of concession drivers and has 67 wins to his credit.
  • Race six: Trotter Sonnyboy again proved his love for the Charlton track with his sixth win. Driver Jack Sullivan sat outside the leader and proved too strong in the final stages.
  • Race seven: Bart Bentleigh, driven by Ken Tippet, again sitting outside the leader, proved too strong. Very loud support came from a group of half-owners, some travelling from Warragul.
  • Race eight: Ryan Sanderson made it a double with the win of Major Milestone for trainer David Abrahams from Tatura. This was consecutive wins for this pacer after a recent win at Wagga.


In all parts of the racing industry, with prizemoney the main objective for all participants, one must ask: Why on Sunday night in regional South “Oz” a race was run with three horses and the prizemoney was $30,000?!

Highlights of the year

Apart from all the Cup meetings:

  • The races – Sarah Field won at her first race ride at Donald riding Field of Flutes at the July 21 meeting.
  • The trots – Charlton trainers supplied the first four placegetters at the October 9 meeting.


To all the clubs for your assistance through the year and to all the staff at the “Times” office, Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

Upcoming meetings

  • St. Arnaud, Friday December 29.
  • Boort, Friday January 5, 2024.
  • Charlton, Friday January 12, 2024.

See all the pictures in the issue.

The Buloke Times 19 December 2023

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 19 December 2023.


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