Don Peck a welcome addition to Hall of Fame

Monday 15 October 2018

TASMANIAN harness racing celebrated the feats of some of its former champions at the annual awards dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Launceston on Saturday night when a number of people and horses were inducted into the prestigious club.

Included in the elite list were three trainer-drivers of which two, the late Don Peck and Bob Kernan, excelled both in the cart and as trainers.

Peck built a reputation as a fearless driver who relied on his acute sense of timing and brilliant balance to manoeuvre horses into winning positions with consummate ease.

His record in the sulky of 661 wins from 1950 to 2004 is testament to his ability and longevity as a quality reinsman.

Peck turned his hand to training in 1982 and when he finally retired in 2012 he had amassed around 200 wins with pin-point accuracy of records only available from 1987 up to when he had prepared 172 winners.

He was associated with some of Tasmania’s best pacers including Lindys Ticket and Mod Humor.

Tom Terry made his way into the HOF as a driver. He was considered a quiet achiever by his peers but his record as a reinsman sets him apart from most.

Terry began his driving career in 1923 and when he retired in 1955 he had accrued almost 400 winners.

He was the leading driver in Tasmania three times – 1932-33; 1934-35 and in 1938-39.

Terry drove multiple feature race winners with the Danbury Park Cup a race he made his own.

He partnered Reviloh to successive Danbury Park Cup victories in 1937-38 with his other two Danbury Park winners being Earl Pronto (1936) and Raider Rosie in 1947.

Included in the elite list was former star pacer Stanley Rio that is regarded as one of the best-performed Australian-bred pacers to make his mark in New Zealand and Australia.

One of the most significant inductees in the horse category is Stanley Rio.

Foaled in 1972, Stanley Rio (Nevele Golfer-Rio Fleur) was bred by Stan and Fred Barker and was sold as a yearling following the death of Stan Barker in 1973.

His career record of 18 wins and 23 minor placings from 68 starts for $162,680 in prizemoney is impressive given the stakes on offer during his racing career.

The horse’s greatest triumph was in 1977 when he delivered an outstanding performance to capture the Group 1 Inter Dominion final at Albion Park in Queensland.

A year prior he won the New Zealand Cup in Christchurch and that feat allowed him the sole right to an amazing record.

Stanley Rio is the only four-year-old in the history of Australasian harness racing to win the Inter Dominion and a New Zealand Cup.

Prancing Ruby was inducted in the broodmare category and she has long been regarded as one of Tasmania’s greatest broodmares.

in 1955, the Vic Farrelly-bred daughter of Chamfer had enormous success on the racetrack winning 19 times of which 18 were in Tasmania and included a dead-heat for first in the 1963 Tasmanian Pacing Championship.

But she is arguably best-known for her deeds at stud.

Prancing Ruby produced Prancing Percy that won 27 times including the 1982 Tasmanian Pacing Championship and in the same year, he became the first horse to break a mile rate of two minutes by clocking a rate of 1.59 in a race at Carrick.

Prancing Ruby also produced Tamaki Pride that won 18 races and she was the dam of Super Rooster (20 wins) and My Surprise (16 wins).