March 21, 2023 Michael Court
GEARING up to compete in an invitation lady drivers’ race in Queensland, South Australia’s Samantha Pascoe landed a winning double at Globe Derby on Saturday night.
And this accomplished young reinswoman is hoping for a repeat performance at Gawler’s big meeting next weekend – with the same two horses.
Super Angus and Van Mara are both experienced campaigners and showed there were more wins still “in the bank” with stylish efforts to score last weekend.
At the ripe old age of 25, Pascoe is fast closing in on her 200th winner . . . and her ambitions are simple enough too:
“Drive more winners each season than I did the season before,” she told National Trotguide.
“That way at least I know I am improving.”
While she plies her trade in South Australia and western Victoria, Pascoe admits she’d love a drive at Menangle one day.
And while harness racing is virtually her full-time profession, Pascoe supplements that income by working a bar a couple of days a week, as well.
“In the mornings I also work for Aaron Bain Racing and when I finish there, at around lunchtime, I usually head up to the [Adelaide] Hills and work all my horses,” she said.
“It’s flat out, most of the time.
“Sydney is a bit of a trek from here. And I would love to drive at Menangle one day, it looks like fun.
“But I’ve never had anything to drive there.
“I’m heading to Queensland for a lady drivers’ race on April 1 but it would be nice if they ran one at Menangle next year and I could maybe head there then, you never know.”
Pascoe’s stable is usually around 10 horses and she has a couple in the paddock due to come back in the next week or so.
“I have one two-year-old who should be trialling in the next four to six weeks too,” she said.
Back to her winning double and Super Angus, a seven-year-old gelding that Pascoe admitted typically wasn’t that great first-up and normally took a few runs to hit his straps.
“But his work this time around was better so I was fairly confident that given it was a mobile that he would be able to find the front and I was hoping he’d be fit enough to hang on at the end,” she said.
“And Van is a good honest old horse who always does his best.
“He did spend some time in Sydney when he first came to Australia.”
Pascoe says she pays attention to the better drivers but likes to do her own thing as well.
“I don’t focus on anyone in particular or try to drive how they do. I’m quite happy just to do my own thing,” she said.
“Dani (Hill) is an obvious hero here as she’s been such a good role model for all the drivers here.
“Her brother is actually my partner so I do talk to Danni a lot as well as a few of the other guys around Mildura and that.
“My horses are in the Adelaide Hills, about an hour from where I work right next to Globe Derby.
“We also go to Mildura nearly every week – which a little over four hours away.”
Pascoe says as a driving milestone every year she just wants to drive more winners, even if its only one more than the previous year.
“I just want to get more winners each season and maybe start to focus on the feature races,” she said.
“Van Mara is possibly the best horse I’ve say behind. He’s still sound and does a good job.
“When I claimed him I wasn’t sure what to expect but he’s as good as gold and has plenty of good racing left in him.
“Van will be in the Pacing Cup at Gawler next Monday and Super Angus will be in the Trotters Cup.
“If we can go for another double next week, that would be great.”