Carter Dalgety made the start to his career all drivers dream of when winning his race track debut at Oamaru on Sunday.
The junior driver became the fourth generation of Dalgetys to drive a winner when dead-heating in the region his family’s incredible achievements in the sport of harness racing began.
Dalgety sealed his first win with a patient tactics behind Adieu Flirt who hit the line locked together Five Star General and Devon van Til.
“To get a winner with my first drive, it’s incredible, a lot of people wait a lot longer for their first win,” Dalgety said.
“It’s a massive boost for my career and a massive thrill.”
“The messages, texts and phone calls I have got has been unbelievable.”
“It is amazing how many people watched the race, I have got messages from people who I didn’t even think watched the races.”
“It's been amazing and I won’t ever forget this day.”
Winning in a dead heat clearly took absolutely nothing away from the thrill of Dalgety’s first victory.
The reinsman wasn’t confident he had won race 8 but his fellow drivers felt differently.
“Everyone else in the race thought I got it, Devon thought I had.”
“Apparently my cart was a little bit ahead of her one at the finish.”
“To be completely honest I wasn’t exactly sure where the line was, I was just trying to keep my horse going.”
Dalgety’s grandfather, Addington Hall Of Famer Jim Dalgety, hails from the Oamaru region.
His father Jim Dalgety Snr was a trainer, driver and prominent beeder and studmaster in the region.
Winning on the Dalgety’s home turf and being surrounded by his immediate family made the junior driver’s win even more special.
“That made it really special,” Dalgety said.
“I went and saw granddad (Jim) during the week and he was telling me all about the family history.”
“He was one of ten siblings and all of the others stayed on and lived in the area where my great grandfather had his stud on the family farm.”
“Having my family there was awesome, Mum and Dad came with my older sister (Laura).”
“My middle sister (Maddison) is in Dunedin for uni and she came up for the race, too."
“It was pretty special, really.”
Dalgety produced a cool and calm drive in his first raceday outing.
He settled the John Hay trained Adieu Flirt off the speed from her barrier 8 draw.
A strong pace throughout built the junior driver’s confidence as the race went on.
“I thought the draw was a good thing.”
“And I thought the horse was a bit underrated, she had won seven races going into it.”
“I guess on paper it was a tricky draw, but the way the race panned out it was perfect.”
“When Ellie (Barron) had a crack for the lead I thought this is ideal and when Korbyn (Newman) had a go I thought it was even better.”
“The best thing is that the mare is still eligible for a penalty-free junior driver’s win because it was a dead heat.”
“John (Hay) was really happy, he told me all about her before the race but he said he didn’t need to tell me how to go out and drive her, he was great.”
Dalgety’s next focus is on building up more race day drives and contacts.
The reinsman said he was happy to travel anywhere to pick up drives and was keen to make more connections with trainers at workouts and trials.