Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators
Gifted driver Maddison Brown survived a traumatic moment on Friday morning before she stole the show at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she revealed wonderful skill in the sulky to land four winners.
Trotgoers marvelled at her great talent as she remained calm, cool, calculating and confident to win with Diego, Gambit, Beach Start and Beefour Bacardi.
But it was a completely different scenario earlier in the day when she was unceremoniously dumped by a skittish galloper and landed heavily on her behind while she was taking three-year-old thoroughbred Uncompromised for a slow workout at trainer Michael Grantham’s Banjup property.
The 26-year-old Brown refused to worry about a sore back and painful right arm as she became the fifth female to drive four winners on a program in Western Australia.
Chalking up the four winners was simply all in a day’s work for Brown, who arrived at the Lark Hill track at 4.50am to ride three gallopers for Grantham before travelling to Grantham’s establishment to work four more horses, including the ungentlemanly Uncompromised who certainly placed her in a compromising position.
“He must have shied at something and flung me off,” said Brown, who was able to retain her grip on the rein and prevent the horse from charging off.
“It was a good start to my day, wasn’t it,” she said. “My back is sore, but at the time I didn’t feel that I had hurt my arm which is a bit tender now.”
Brown said that she was keen to test the strength in her sore right arm on the weekend while fishing in the ocean with her partner, champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr.
Hall is serving a brief term of suspension, and this gave Brown the opportunity to handle Diego, Gambit, Beach Start and Chicago Bull, who are trained by Gary Hall snr. Chicago Bull finished a neck second to stablemate Balcatherine in the Channel 7 Media Guild Cup.
“I’m relieved that it’s all over, and am happy to have got the job done,” said Brown.
Hall snr praised Brown for her outstanding performance, saying: “Maddison drove extremely well; she has been fantastic all night and she definitely handled the pressure with aplomb.”
Brown, the youngest daughter of Colin Brown, one of Western Australia’s all-time great trainers and drivers, had a stint as an apprentice jockey in 2017 and 2018 when she rode 29 winners, including a double at Port Hedland.
She well remembers her previous best performance in the sulky — when she drove three winners at Kalgoorlie on November 14, 2014. She was successful with Big Shot Barbie ($5.60), Rigatoni ($3.30) and Eastwood Factor ($23.10).
Severe early interference undoubtedly cost Brown a fourth winner on the program. Tanaka Eagle recovered to finish fifth behind I Am Legend, and then Brown drove that pacer to easy victories at his next three starts at Kalgoorlie.