Longlea-based harness icon Brian Gath is chasing a dream trotting win this weekend.
The 77-year-old will drive Illawong Stardust in Saturday night's $150,000 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship grand final.
The veteran is the oldest to ever compete in the event, however, age is the last thing on his mind.
"Age is just a number," Gath laughed.
"It doesn't worry me at all as I still drive nearly everyday and put on a good race every now and then."
Gath won the Inter Dominion pacing division back in 1978 with Markovina at Moonee Valley, but never has he been first across the line in the trotting category.
"Our stable has won several of the trotting heats in the past, but never have we been able to win the trotting division," he said.
"Maybe we can fluke it on Saturday night."
Gath is driving the Tony Peacock-trained Illawong Stardust ($101) from gate nine in a field that includes favourites Pink Galahs ($4) and The Penny Drops ($4).
He knows that the odds aren't exactly in his favour, but given his experience, he's aware that anything is possible on the race track.
"I am geared up and ready for the race."
Regardless of the outcome he is just proud as punch to be racing in the iconic event on close friend Peacock's Illawong Stardust and to share the experience with his grandson Louis Emerson.
"Tony and I have been friends for nearly 50 years and during that time I've driven most of his horses," Gath said.
"We make a great team and have been very lucky together.
Then to have my grandson with me makes it even more special.- Brian Gath
"He just got his licence so we're going to drive up to NSW together. He's probably more excited about it all than I am."
Sharing the experience with his grandson sets the foundation for the Gath family name to live on within harness racing.
Brian's late father George was heavily involved with the sport and upon reflection he still remembers the moment he fell in love with the Inter Dominion.
He travelled to Sydney with his father in 1960 for the Inter Dominion at Harold Park - from that moment on it has remained one of his favourite events on the harness racing calendar.
The $150,000 race five TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final starts at 8.45PM on Saturday night.
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