Dual Tasmanian Youngblood’s Challenge champion Matthew Howlett will represent Tasmania at the Garrard’s 2017 Australasian Young Driver Championships in Brisbane this week.
Tasracing CFO John Luk presented Matthew with his Tasmanian representative colours and wished him well on behalf of the industry at last night’s Tasmanian Pacing Club meeting in Hobart.
The best young talent from each state, along with three representatives from New Zealand will arrive in Brisbane tomorrow in readiness for the first round of heats at Redcliffe on Wednesday night.
The AYDC Series, showcasing the star drivers of tomorrow, then moves to Albion Park on Friday, December 15 with the last round of heats conducted on the final night of the Queensland Summer Carnival on December 16.
Albion Park’s chairman David Fowler said the Australasian Young Drivers Championship provided many benefits for both the drivers and industry.
“These are our driving stars for the future and series like these give them a really good shot of being in the national limelight,” he said.
“The young drivers are chosen for their natural ability, it will be the cream of harness racing’s National young talent campaigning so punters won’t be afraid to put their money on them,” he added.
Matthew became the youngest winner of the ‘60 degrees’ Youngblood’s Challenge in 2013 at just 16 years of age and repeated his title win again in 2016.
Proudly following his father and grandfather’s footsteps into harness racing, Matthew first hit the track in pony races at six years of age.
Matthew’s driving career commenced in November of 2012 and he greeted the winner’s circle just two months later, he went on to clinch the 2015/16 Tasmanian Junior Drivers Title and has racked up 60 winners in total including a victory last night with Rockin An Rollin at Luxbet Park.
2107 Australasian Young Drivers Championship State and New Zealand representatives:
- Todd McCarthy (NSW – defending champion)
- Narissa McMullen (QLD)
- Chris Geary (NSW)
- Michael Grantham (WA)
- Jayden Brewin (SA)
- Jason Lee (VIC)
- Sheree Tomlinson (NZ)
- Dylan Ferguson (NZ)
- Kimberly Butt (NZ)
- Matthew Howlett (TAS)
By Shane Yates