HEATHCOTE'S Tayla French is closing fast on the magical 100-win mark after scoring her first metropolitan driving double on Saturday night.
French notched another significant achievement in her flourishing young career on her home track at Bendigo' Lord's Raceway, steering home a pair of winners for her boss Chris Svanosio.
The supremely talented 24-year-old laid the groundwork with a brilliant win aboard $16.30 chance She Will Rock before swiftly striking again in the next race aboard the five-year-old trotting gelding Brandlo Prince ($4.70).
French was thrilled to have ticked off another milestone, especially at home.
"It's a little bit of a weight off my shoulders now," she said.
"It was even better getting it on my home track. It was really good to have a metro meeting in Bendigo and not race at Melton on a Saturday night.
"It was a nice trip home ... and an early finish."
The double boosted French's win-haul this season to 27 and her career tally to 96 since acquiring her driving licence late in the 2017-18 season.
Her wins on She Will Rock and Brandlo Prince consolidated impressive records with both horses.
French has now driven the four-year-old mare She Will Rock five times for two wins, a third and a fourth (at Melton), while three steers on Brandlo Prince have delivered one win and placing and a fourth.
For that she was grateful for the opportunities provided by former Bendigo trainer Svanosio, who has been based at Romsey since November 2019, but has retained French as one of his staff.
"I'd love to stay on both horses, but everybody's day comes - I have had a bit luck with these horses," she said.
"Chris has probably jumped on a few times when the race hasn't been run to suit.
"It's nice when you get on the really good horses, you notice the difference.
"I'm very fortunate for the opportunities Chris gives me, he doesn't have to give me them.
"The first race with She Will Rock, he didn't have a drive in the race and could easily have driven her himself, but he elected not to.
"I drive her all the time at home, so it's great he gave me the opportunity on Saturday."
French, who openly admits to not setting herself many goals, was genuinely surprised to have learned her seventh metropolitan win had pushed her ever so close to the 100-mark.
"In some ways, I'm hoping I don't get there too soon as I'll lose my five-point claim, but it will be nice when I do get there," she said.
"It's been a great last 12 months - the opportunities are really starting to arise from other trainers and it's starting to show."
Her last 46 winners have come in under 12-months, with her 50th career win having been achieved in mid-July last year aboard father Terry's horse Hard Rock Shannon.
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