• Brian Cross

Six-year-old mare’s maiden win not taxing at all

Updated: Jul 11

A lot of patience and perseverance brought results when No Gee Ess Tee claimed victory in the ‘Harness Racing Unhinged’ On Facebook Mobile Pace at Addington Sunday. And her loyal army of owners and supporters were justifiably over the moon, such has been the journey the Bettor’s Delight mare has been on so far.

No Gee Ess Tee’s race debut only came last September. And when she ran the fastest last 400m of the whole night to finish midfield, the signs looked good. Three weeks later she was recuperating from a wind operation that would sideline her for nine months.


For the Ripple Creek team, the mare’s winning performance was nowhere near the surprise a $20 dividend would suggest. “After a long time off the scene her first two runs back both had merit,” said Trainer Trent Yesberg. “She’d won a trial easily just before resuming, and we knew she had some of that Bettors’ Delight raceday determination.”


On Sunday, in following Trent’s instructions to give his charge an untaxing run with cover, Mark Hurrell gave an expert driving demonstration from the 500, positioning her for a wide run from last on straightening and taking a narrow gap to get up by a neck from front runners Hit The Beach and Raging On.


Breeder Paul Yesberg sold Dottie as she’s known round the stable to Airpark Canterbury’s Graeme Harris as a foal at foot with her dam Gold Return. Not one for racing youngsters, Graeme was in no hurry to press the filly into racing mode, giving her plenty of time to develop and passing her back to Trent to train. The pandemic’s intervention prolonged her wait for a racing career, but now after just her sixth start she has well and truly hit her straps.


As a breeder, Paul Yesberg claimed three victories on Sunday, a very rare achievement and all from the same family. No Gee Ess Tee is from the one-race winner Gold Return, also the dam of King Arthur, who took out the Junior Driver’s race with Scott Iremonger. Also successful was Khal Drogo (now 5 wins), a son of Gold Return’s half sister Return To Gold.


Gold Return and Return to Gold are both from Paul’s foundation mare Turn To Gold, which he purchased in 2005 and is now the dam or grandam of the winners of 44 races. The best has been Return To Gold’s filly Spellbound (1.50.1,1M AUS), winner of 14 and $398,000, of race sponsor Harness Racing Unhinged’s Nigel Armstrong fame.


No Gee Ess Tee and her younger half sister She’s Watching were Ripple Creek’s first foray into fractional ownership. Both mares have large groups of enthusiastic owners who’ve kept the faith that the mares would produce the goods eventually. Both have been sidelined for months on end, both have now had wins.


While She’s Watching remains a work on progress and hopes remain she will soon return for more success, big sister is showing the way for now.