By Duane Ranger (courtesy of Redcliffe Paceway)
Redcliffe horseman, Keith Durston, has driven his first winner in two-and-a-half years.
The 54-year-old North Brisbane native saluted the judge behind the Donny Smith trained Datsinahurri in race four at Redcliffe Paceway last Wednesday evening (November 9).
Durston also owns and bred the 4-year-old daughter of Hurrikane Kingcole.
His last win in the sulky came via Datsinahurri’s older half-brother – the Donny Smith trained Dattitude at Albion Park on April 30, 2019. His last Redcliffe winner was behind the same pacer six days earlier.
“You never get sick of that winning feeling, and although that’s my first win in a couple of years I’ve had a few indirectly though with Donny.
“I’ve worked for Donny for the last 10 years, and really enjoy it. We have about 12 horses in work at the moment, including a couple of my own,” Durston said.
“We downsized a bit last year and the year before that Covid hit us all. We also had a few horses injured and suffering from various symptoms, so we are just on the way back now.
“I’m rapt for Datsinahurri. That was her 10th win,” he added.
Datsinahurri (1:57.4), who has also placed nine times form his 65 starts ($36,512), is the fourth of seven foals out of the 2009 Life Sign – Ronstadt (Exotic Earl) mare Datsalife.
Durston said he bought the mare at one of the early annual Redcliffe Yearling Sales in 2011. He said like driving her to one of her three wins, but is enjoying her more as a broodmare.
“She’s been a wonderful producer. Her first four foals have all won at least four races, and her fifth – a Mr Feelgood 2-year-old named Keith Will Do, has won placed in one of has four starts for his Lake Clarendon owner and trainer, Dan Russell,” Durston said.
“Dan actually paid $11,000 for Keith Will Do at the 2021 Redcliffe Yearling Sale. He is hopeful he will get his Qbred bonus with him before the end of the season.
“I’m sure the broodmare’s 100 per cent winning record will carry on through this one as well,” he added.
Durston said the mare’s first four foals had won 33 races and $188,165 between them.
2014 Mr Feelgood filly – Datsgood (six wins and $38,841); 2015 Mr Feelgood gelding, Dattitude (13 wins and $65,256); 2016 Mr Feelgood gelding, Dataldo (four wins and $47,556); 2017 Hurrikane Kingcole gelding, Datsinahurri (10 wins and $36,512).
Durston has since leased the mare to Trevor Barsby, and on September 9 she produced a Follow The Stars filly.
“I’ll always have fond memories of Datsalife no matter what she does from here on in. When she was a 3-year-old filly she provided me with my first winning drive. She was in Donny’s colours that day as well. I remember it – it was April 3, 2013,” Durston said.
The Bracken Ridge raised, and Aspley State High School educated Durston said he got into harness racing through his father Owen (82), his brother Robert, cousin John.
“The whole family loved harness racing. We owned a few, and Dad is still involved. In fact, the first horse I owned – a New Zealand gelding named Brawny Warrior, won his first start for us in the 1990s. I remember Jenny Anderson did the training for us.”
Durston has been married to Karen for 32 years. They have two adult children – Courtney (24) and Chloe (20).
“Sadly, we have lost them lost to Canberra where they are volley-ballers at the Australian Institute Of Sport. They both work in a vet clinic as well,” Durston said.
Durston has driven 48 winners and placed 148 times ($296,862) since the 2012-2013 season. His best season came in 2017-2018 when he saluted the judge 12 times and netted $76,707 in stakes.
FOOTNOTE: Durston will have his next drive at Redcliffe Paceway on Wednesday night (November 16). He will get in behind Datsinahurri again in race eight at 9.24pm.
The bay mare has drawn nicely at three and now boasts a nice 77321 form-line.