YOUNG harness driver Rory Coverdale will never forget the thrill of driving her first winner at Hamilton last week.
Coverdale, 19, drove Banksofthemurray to victory for her boss, top Terang harness trainer-driver Matt Craven.
"It was a massive thrill to get my first winner at only my ninth drive in a race," she told The Standard. "The win was extra special because my grandparents were on-course to celebrate the victory. I had the perfect run in the race and Banksofthemurray fought on strongly over the final stages."
Coverdale said her rise in the sport had been rapid.
"I had no idea about harness racing until five years ago when I got a part-time job with Marg Lee at Terang before joining Matt's stable about two years ago," she said.
"I've been very lucky to have got so much help, advice and support from people in the harness industry. I'm really loving it. My goal is to build on my first winner at Hamilton and just keep on driving winners."
Craven, who has a team of horses in Queensland preparing for its winter championships, has left the former Camperdown Mercy Regional College student in chatge of his Terang training operation while he's up north with his horses.
"It was great to see Rory drive her first winner last week," Craven said.
"Rory has taken over the running of my Terang stables while I'm up here. She's doing a great job overseeing the 20 horses we have in work back home.
"We stay in contact on the phone if there's any dramas."
Craven said Coverdale had the attributes to become a consistent driver.
"She's a hard worker. Rory loves horses which is a real bonus in this sport," he said.
"Her win last week was well deserved and is a reward for all the hard work she puts in. I'm confident she's going to have a long and successful career in harness racing not only as a driver but probably as a trainer in years to come."
Craven will have runners at Albion Park and Redcliffe over the next few weeks.
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