Lachie Hart savours heartfelt maiden victory as a trainer

A maiden victory is a memorable achievement in the life of any standardbred trainer.

For Woodhill’s Lachie Hart, the breakthrough triumph meant just a little bit more than it would to others late on Friday evening at Albion Park.

The 23-year-old trainer prepared mare Itsmegs to victory over 1660 metres in the colours of his late Pop – Gerry Hart.

Champion driver Pete McMullen was able to cross the line in Gerry’s royal blue colours, which also includes a gold sash across the chest.

Lachie has been guided by some of the biggest names in the harness racing game across his lifetime, on top of being born into the sport.

His father – Ricky Hart – trains a dozen horses in Brisbane’s south – as well as driving a few – while Gerry was also deeply involved in the game before he passed away just over a decade ago.

On the other side of Lachie’s family, his grandfather is Ian Corazzol, who is a renowned breeder of pacers in Queensland.

“It is definitely deep down in the blood for me,” Lachie said with a smile.

There have been several other family members who have also had long interests in the harness code, as well. 

“It has always been a goal of mine to get my trainers licence and have a few go around in my name,” Lachie said a few days after his first winner as a trainer.

“It was a very special moment to get my first winner in those old colours, for my Pop.

“I got back into the horses when I was around 12 or 13 when my Dad was given a horse and I followed him into the stables after that.

“I have been doing it ever since.

“It makes you enjoy the wins even more when you have a small team of horses as I do.”

Lachie has spent time in both Sydney and Melbourne working for leading stables since departing high school.

He was around Tim Butt’s team for a period of time, as well as Shane Sanderson, who he campaigned horses to the Sunshine State with one season.

He spent around six years in the Harbour City before opting to return to South East Queensland.

The keen trainer has always learnt around the leading Queensland barn of McMullen and Chantal Turpin, as well.

With his family and work connections, Lachie has done a fair apprenticeship when it comes to harness.

“I have been pretty lucky to learn from some of the best people in the industry,” Lachie said.

“I loved it down there in Sydney, it is good racing and they were great people to work with as well.

“I learnt from trainers that I was fortunate enough to spend time with, you pick up a lot, even things like nutrition for horse feeds and different styles to work different types of horses.

“I learnt a lot about the gear side of things as well.”

While Lachie has been full-time with the horses for much of his working life, he is just dabbling as a hobby trainer these days.

He works during the day in his grandad’s business that sells musical instruments and will give his father a hand in the morning and in the evening with the pacers.

Ricky had seven-year-old mare Itsmegs before Lachie took over the official training duties recently.

Lachie is unsure if he will pursue training on a full-time basis in the near future, declaring he is enjoying the balance of work and a few horses that he has at the moment.

Itsmegs’ first three starts for Lachie were all placed efforts – one at Redcliffe and two at Albion Park – before she won as the favourite last Friday, which was his first win from just his sixth starter.

He also has gelding The Mach Army in his stable.

The Mach Army will go in search of Lachie’s second victory as a licensed trainer on Wednesday evening at The Triangle.

By Jordan Gerrans