In late 2007 Broadmarsh trainer-driver Heath Woods walked away from harness racing instead deciding to concentrate on his young family.
A few years ago, his son Aaron showed interest in racing and Heath didn’t need much temptation to get back into the industry that he loved and what an enjoyable ride back it has been.
Since his first start back with The Shallows on 26 January 2019, Heath has had 28 starters for 11 wins and eight placings with his latest winner being with the impressive four-year-old gelding The Shallows in Hobart on Sunday night.
Settling one-out and six-back in the early stages Heath was able to gain a three-wide and two-back cart into the race from the bell before having to peel out four and five wide on the home corner to score by 1.2 metres over the well supported Resurgent Storm with Frostyflyer third.
The mile rate for 2090 metres was 2m 0.0s with the last half-mile leader to winner recorded in a slick 56.7, and trainer-driver Heath Woods was impressed with the win.
“He went really good, we knew he was pretty fit, but as he hadn’t raced for five months, we knew he would need the run,” said the winning trainer-driver.
“I just had a little query that drawn so bad he would have to do a bit of work, but luckily we got a bit of a cart into it, he pulled up pretty well and no doubt he will take benefit from the run,” added Woods.
“When he got to them on straightening up he just knocked off a little bit, so I had to keep him going up the straight,” explained Woods who said that he hadn’t looked too far ahead with the pacer who has now won 10 of his 21 starts to date.
Pipers River trainer Marc Butler believes any pre-race media interviews are detrimental to his horses chances, but followers of Tasracing’s From the Stables Podcast would have been cashed up last night when the trainer increased his excellent strike rate.
Butler was represented by four runners on the Hobart card across three races, and he won them all.
Bettabrown Tiger was first-up for the Butler stable, and the gelded son of Betterthancheddar raced up to his terrific form on the Hobart track, winning his fifth race at the venue from seven starts and he has been runner-up at his other two starts on the track.
Peaceful Thomas was well-graded when winning race seven, all the gelded son had to do was bring his racing manners after disappointing punters by galloping in his three starts prior.
He was the 100th career win for reinsman Conor Crook.
The victory of Armchair Drive in the trotters event rounded out Butler’s treble.
One of Butler’s former pacers Full Speed Ahead was the winner of last night’s fast class event.
The gelded son of Art Major was claimed by a client for the Zeke Slater stable after his last start third in Hobart on 24 July.
From outside of the front row on Sunday he was able to ping straight to the early lead in the standing start event.
Full Speed Ahead was rated a treat in front by last season’s leading driver Mark Yole, to lead all the way and score by 4.2 over Ryley Major and Sea Double Ugrant.
The race favourite Scooterwillrev finished fifth.
The mile rate for the 2090-metre trip was 1m 59.1s, just 0.4s outside the track record which is held by Resurgent Spirit who won off a 30-metre handicap in October 2016.