First win for ‘Flare’ driver

J Scott Former News, Latest News




Met Five Syndicate pacer Western Flare credited former NZ Metropolitan Trotting Club deputy chairman Trevor Ward with his first totalisator driving win in the amateur drivers race at Rangiora on Wednesday, December 7.

Mr Ward enjoyed the occasion with many directors of the club. He had built up friendships with them during his 17 years as an administrator with the club before ending his term with the club.

His good friend Blair Cartwright, who manages the Syndicate, booked him for the drive.

Another former Metropolitan Club administrator Richard Sissons could have been a contender for the Western Flare drive, but was happy to retain the drive on Bowenvale, who finished fourth.

Mr Sissons had earlier reined Bowenvale in the previous amateur race on November 22 for trainer Mike Stratford.

“Western Flare was really nice to drive,” Mr Ward said.

western-flare-action-008“As the winner of eight races, I just didn’t want to get beaten with him,” he said.

Western Flare, a $1.50 win favourite, rolled straight to the front and was always in control, holding Tyler Franco (Gavin Cook) by 1 3/4 lengths in a comfortable 2:32 for the mobile 2000m, running his last 800m in 58s.

This was Mr Ward’s sixth racedrive, having recorded a raceday third last season.

Mr Ward attended the first driving course back in 2002. He is now chairman of the NZ Amateur Drivers Association.

“Betting on the amateur race was $60,000, the most for any race on the day,” he said.


Western Flare has now won $39,918 in stakes from nine career wins (seven penalty-bearing) from 39 starts.


He was also well rated in front at his previous Manawatu start by Zac Butcher to win at Palmerston North, rating 2:00.6 for the mobile 2000m, to hold fellow Cantab Julius Bardon by a neck.


By Jeff Scott