It wasn’t the first time young driver Olivia Weidenbach had scored a big-priced winner in the last race at Tabcorp Park, but she took it to a whole new level on Friday afternoon.
A day before her 19th birthday, the teenager partnered Maree Caldow-trained Our Sportscaster to a last-to-first victory in the Empire Stallions Pace (2240m) at odds in excess of 100-1.
The triumph came two weeks after Weidenbach drove Untitled to win at Melton at $20.60.
The youngster said it was a race that suited the six-year-old, who had galloped during her previous drive on the horse in early August.
“If they go hard, he’s always in it and going down the back I knew he was travelling that good I had to get off (the pegs),” she said.
“And when Zac (Phillips on Rishi) went three wide, I thought (that) was my opportunity to get going and credit to him, he just kept fighting.
“He’s competitive in these classes. If they go hard and he’s somewhere where he can get through, he can just zoom. He’s got a short sprint on him and that’s what helped.”
Friday’s success was Weidenbach’s first from four tries behind Our Sportscaster, who has now won five races at Melton this year. He now possesses a quality career record of 14 wins from 93 starts and more than $140,000 in prizemoney.
Race caller Dan Mileicki summed up many punters’ surprise by roaring “Our Sportscaster at a million to one has got up!” as the gelding crossed the line, but there were a few savvy people out there who got a piece of the big price.
The TAB reported a handful of decent bets on the horse.
Our Sportscaster’s win completed a race-to-race double for the Caldow stable, which also scored with squaregaiter Pantzup in the Alderbaran Park Trot (2240m).
Fellow young driver Jack Laugher also had a day to remember on Friday after landing a winning treble with Yannarie (John McCullagh), Will I Rocknroll (Rob O’Connell) and American Sweethart (Tayla Nicholson).