DISTANCE has proven no tyranny to successful Bendigo reinswoman Ellen Tormey.
The 28-year-old scored wins at venues 200 kilometres apart on Sunday, highlighted by her victory aboard Shadow Reign, for trainer Wayne Potter, in the $14.500 Wangaratta Pacing Cup (2210m).
She earlier won the last of 10 races at Wagga Wagga with the Mark Watson-trained pacer Brallos Pace.
Tormey was unlucky not to have left Wagga Wagga with a double already in her keeping, after being narrowly beaten on another Watson-trained pacer Prosecco Boy in the day’s second event, run some three hours earlier than her success in the final race and seven hours before her Wangaratta Cup win.
For Tormey, who was again on the road early on Monday to Horsham, where she has one of her own horses Shaq running, the travel is all part and parcel of harness racing.
“The double-headers were probably a bit more common when we had a lot more meetings,” she said.
“It’s a long day, but I suppose you get used to it. By the end of the week I’m guessing I will be a bit tired, but I am not too bad at the moment.
“Winning certainly makes it worthwhile.”
In terms of her Cup win, Tormey said she was thrilled to repay the support afforded her by Avenel trainer Potter.
“He’s been really great to me lately,” she said.
“I went and drove Shadow Reign in the Albury Cup the start before and we didn’t have any luck.
“Wayne put me back on again and it was good to get a bit of luck this time. It showed them exactly what the horse can do.”
The Wangaratta victory was Tormey’s eighth in the teal pants as part of the harness racing industry’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research during February and early March.
It’s a great result for the former Charlton reinswoman, who has struck form at a key time of the harness racing season.
“Probably a few weeks ago I was having a really bad run, but the last half of this month has been really good,” Tormey said.
“That has been great given the last month has been teal month, so any of the wins I do get means $200 gets donated to ovarian cancer.
“It’s always good to get a few winners this month in particular.”
Tormey, who has been driving now for 12 years, is delighted by the emergence of the current crop of young reinswoman including Michelle Phillips, Shannon O’Sullivan and Tayla French, and felt it had created plenty of healthy competition.
“It’s always exciting seeing fresh talent coming through and they are showing quite a bit of ability,” she said.
“It’s good for the two as well, with a lot more horses in work.
“Bendigo seems to be going very well.”
It’s always good to get a few winners this month in particular.Ellen Tormey
A busy long-weekend for Bendigo trainers and drivers included wins for the trainer-reinsman combination of Maddie Ray and Haydon with the six-year-old trotter Imahe Man at Wangaratta, and driver Michelle Phillips aboard the Owen Martin-trained Whoee Johnson at Sunday’s Birchip Cup meeting.
Meanwhile, Bendigo had a hand in four of the six winners at Thursday night’s Swan Hill meeting.
Marong trainer Danny Curran got the ball rolling with Sunrose Master, who followed up his win at Gunbower last month with back-to-back success in the final of the 2240m Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series.
Chris Svanosio kept his winning momentum running with a win aboard the Barry Quigley-trained Sixty, before Haydon Gray landed a win for Junortoun trainer Trevor Monk with I See You.
Trainer Gary Donaldson rounded out a top night when trotting mare Skyeski broke though for her fourth career win from 28 starts.
TASMANIAN SUCCESS FOR HARGREAVES AND ASHWOOD
Bendigo trainer Kate Hargreaves and reinsman Alex Ashwood are celebrating the success of Resurgent Spirit, who stormed to victory in the second heat of the Tasmania Cup on Sunday night at TAB Park Elwick in Hobart.
The former Tasmania pacer returned to the scene of several of his biggest wins to score at the long odds of $41.
He previously won 13 of his 14 starts as a two and three-year-old in Tasmania for breeder, owner and former trainer Roger Whitmore, but was transferred to Hargreaves in late 2017.
The win qualified the eight-year-old for Saturday’s $70,000 final.
Whitmore praised Hargreaves and Ashwood for their ‘marvellous’ job with the horse.
“Alex is staying the week to ensure no stone is left unturned in the lead-up to the final, he looks as if he has pulled up well and I’m looking forward to taking him down to the beach,” he said.
“We spent a lot of time there together when he was a youngster so that will bring back some nice memories, which makes his win even more special.”
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