HARNESS Racing in the Riverina is steeped in history with many champions and many champion horsemen being produced from the state’s south-western region.
And there was no greater period than the 1970’s when some of the best pacers of that era were trained out of the Riverina.
There was the iconic Paleface Adios, who was known as the Temora Tornado; there was Just Too Good, Adios Victor and Welcome Advice, just to name a few.
Welcome Advice was trained at Junee by George Harpley and was driven by his son Alan, the duo combining to win the 1972 Brisbane Inter Dominion with their champion.
Like many harness racing families, the Harpley legacy lives on through their children and grandchildren.
Alan’s son Bruce, affectionately known as the Junee Postman, rose to fame through his partnership with the mighty mare Frith.
But the talented Harpley bloodline does not end there.
Alan’s sister Marlene is the mother of the very successful trainer- driver Trevor White and the grandmother of rising star drivers Cameron Hart, and his sister Ashley.
Cameron gives much credit for his success to his Uncle Trevor as from the age of 12, the youngster would spend every spare moment at White’s stables in Junee.
Hart drove his first winner, Ideal Investment, for Trevor and is forever grateful for the guidance his uncle gave him, a solid foundation for what is now a promising career for Cameron.
Trevor is set for a busy afternoon at Wagga today as the hard-working trainer has seven horses engaged at the meeting, five of which he is driving himself.
Former New Zealander filly, Ab Fab is one that he is not driving, instead employing the services of Peter McRae to handle the three-year-old in Race 4.
She was a Wagga winner on May 29 and last start ran third, beaten just under six metres with McRae in the gig.
White will be hoping to start the afternoon with a bang when he partners the short-priced Defiant in the opening race, the TAB Odds & Evens Pace.
The gelding, which he bred himself, has been runner up at his only two starts, and on both occasions he was forced to cut the breeze.
Defiant should gain a better run this afternoon from his gate-five draw in the seven-horse field.
– MICHAEL DUMESNY