Cut a Rug thrills Hardy
FORGET sky diving, white rafter rafting and other thrill-seeking activities.
Nothing - but nothing - stirs Joanne's Hardy's blood quite like a winner at the races.
The former Casino and Ballina chief executive officer, who is now an owner/trainer, saw her charge Cut a Rug produce a storming finish to take the $15,000 Next Race Saturday 1st February Maiden Handicap (1516m) at Lismore yesterday.
Excited Hardy said nothing matched the excitement of seeing one of her horses claim a win.
"Anyone that has never won a race before and gets into racing as an owner will tell you there is no feeling like winning," she said.
"I've done sky diving, but throwing myself out of a plane had nothing on this.
"The adrenalin rush you get is better than anything else."
StrawberryChampagne, trained by Casino's Stephen Bennett, seemed to have the race sewn up with 200m to go. The three-year-old chestnut gelding winner had other ideas, though, surging to victory at the death for a first triumph in nine starts as a $4.60 shot.
Hardy, who also worked as a chief curator at Sapphire on the southern New South Wales coast, has been involved with horse racing most of her life.
She currently looks after about 50 horses on her 150-acre property between Coffs and Grafton.
"Obviously winning a Group race would be something else, but I find it all relative. There's just not many things that will have you on the edge of your seat like racing. You don't have to have too much money to have success - although it helps. You can buy a horse for $1000 and you might get some wins from it.
"It's a sport where everyone gets a chance. It's my passion."
Ballina trainer John Everson was among the day's other winners.
His charge Storm Fabulador secured a seventh win in 51 starts with victory in the $15,000 Gateway Motel and Restaurant Benchmark 56 Handicap.