HOLMESVILLE couple Aaron Garaty and his partner Kylie Barnes train a small team of six pacers in the western suburbs of Newcastle and enjoy their involvement in harness racing.
Garaty has been driving for almost 10 years although he did have time out of the gig for six months.
“I wasn’t really sure if I would return to drive again but when regional racing came in, due to Covid-19, it became hard to find suitable drivers for our team, so I made a comeback,” he said.
The star of the stable is The Tiger Army, a three-year-old by top producing stallion, Sportswriter.
The colt burst onto the scene as a two-year-old, winning at his first four starts when trained in Victoria by Laura Crossland and David Moran.
Two wins in the southern state were followed by victory in a heat and the final of the $30,000 Leeton Breeders Plate.
He then finished second behind Mach Dan in the time-honoured Sapling Stakes at Tabcorp Park Menangle.
“A good client of Kylie’s bought The Tiger Army off his previous owners earlier this year,” said Garaty.
“We were pretty chuffed to get him as his record spoke for itself.
“He has done nothing but thrive since coming to us.
“He ran second first-up after racing without cover in a fast run race (1.55.6) and then cleared out to win by 14 metres at Newcastle on June 20.
“You can forget about his last-start fourth at Menangle, he didn’t handle that style of racing on the big track but will benefit from the experience for sure.
“Now we’re really happy with where he is at.”
This evening, at Newcastle, The Tiger Army will start from barrier 10 in the Sky Racing Active Pace (Race 1) and is quoted at very short odds to return to the winners’ circle.
“It’s not a bad field he is coming up against, but I do think he should account for them over the mile journey,” said Garaty.
The Barnes- Garaty combination have just two runners engaged at Newcastle tonight, the second being last-start winner, Yesnomaybeso in the Wolf Blass Pace (Race 4).
“He won well last start and has trained on well since,” he said.
“I am happy that both our horses have drawn barrier 10 as it gives me a few options . . . and both horses are pretty versatile.”
– MICHAEL DUMESNY