The all-conquering father-and-son combination of Gary Hall sen. and Gary Hall jun. ended the 2012-13 season on a high note at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Northview Punter scored an impressive victory in the Mornings With Matt McDermott Pace and emerged as a leading candidate for the rich Golden Nugget Championship in November.
Never in the history of Western Australian harness racing has a trainer and driver been so dominant.
The 63-year-old Hall and his 31-year-old son scored runaway wins in the awards for the State’s leading trainer and reinsman. Hall sen. trained 192 winners and 155 placegetters from 673 starters for earnings of $2,715,678 and Hall jun. drove 237 winners and 229 placegetters from 871 starters for total stakes of $2,982,094.
Greg and Skye Bond finished second in the Statewide trainers’ premiership with 153 winners and 197 placegetters from 736 starters, with Andrew de Campo next with 92 winners and 127 placegetters from 457 starters.
Colin Brown took second place in the Statewide drivers’ premiership with 139 winners from 787 starters, with Chris Voak and Morgan Woodley next with 130 winners each.
In the metropolitan premierships, Hall sen. trained 150 winners to finish well ahead of the Bond team, with 74 winners. Hall jun. (163 winners from 520 starters) was the leading city reinsman, finishing ahead of Chris Lewis (69 winners from 604 drives), Brown (63) and Woodley (60).
Northview Punter, a solidly-supported 6/4 favourite from the outside of the back line on Friday night, settled down in ninth position and moved to seventh, three wide, at the bell before forging past the pacemaker Big ben Lombo 320m from home and going on to win by a length from Deluxe Edition, the only filly in the race, who finished strongly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Slick Chapel, a stablemate of the winner, ran home strongly from the rear to be third.
Northview Punter covered the final 800m in 59.1sec. and rated 1.58 over the 2130m journey on a slowish track. This took his record to 19 starts for 11 wins and five placings for stakes of $145,425. He won once from two starts in New Zealand before entering Hall’s stables. He is by American stallion Bettors Delight out of an American mare Watch Your Step, who had 48 starts in the United States for five wins, 16 placings and $59,806. He is a close relation to 1990 Little Brown Jug winner Beach Towel, the American harness Horse of the Year that season.