Brothers Todd and Gareth Rattray will represent Tasmania in the Yabby Dam Racing Australian Drivers Championship to be held in Hobart on 28 October this year.
They will be joined by two drivers from each state (12 drivers in total) who will contest six races for points to decide the winning driver.
For the record, last season Todd started 474 times and recorded 87 wins, 53 seconds and 69 thirds, winning stakes worth $598,665. Brother Gareth drove 574 starters winning on 86 occasions. He placed second 63 times and third 88 times, collecting prize money worth $566,618.
Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said he unashamedly hoped that the home track advantage would give either of the Rattray brothers an edge in their pursuit of the championship.
“The Rattray brothers were the standout harness driving performers last season,” he said.
“Todd won his first Tasmanian driver’s award in 2016/17, one win ahead of Gareth.
“After doing so well locally, being able to compete against the best drivers from interstate will be an important challenge for the pair.”
Mr Lynch thanked Tabcorp and Sky Channel for their programming support to schedule the race on a Saturday night.
“Delivering Tasmanian harness racing to a national audience in a prime wagering time slot is clearly a positive outcome that reflects the close and positive working relationship we enjoy with Tabcorp and Sky,” he said.
“I would also like to recognise harness racing authorities from around Australia, particularly Harness Racing Victoria, which worked with Tasracing on scheduling race meetings to ensure the best drivers were available to compete for their home states.”
The fourth Australian Drivers Championship will be jointly hosted by Tasracing, Harness Racing Australia and the Tasmanian Pacing Club.
The 12 drivers selected to represent their respective states are:
- Chris Lewis, WA
- Ryan Warwick, WA
- Chris Alford, Victoria
- Greg Sugars, Victoria
- Danielle Hill, SA
- Wayne Hill, SA
- Todd Rattray, Tasmania
- Gareth Rattray, Tasmania
- Amanda Turnbull, NSW
- Chris Geary, NSW
- Shane Graham, Queensland
- Grant Dixon, Queensland