Lachie Hart’s deserved first win with ‘Highly Respected’

By Duane Ranger (courtesy of Redcliffe Paceway)

Woodhill trainer, Lachie Hart, finally copped some luck with his Captaintreacherous mare, Highly Respected, at Redcliffe Paceway on Wednesday (October 18).

Shortly before 7.30pm, Hart notched up his first win in 16 attempts with the 5-year-old in race five – the Damon Watson Driver-of-the-Night NR40-44 Pace. Highly Respected’s last two races have now been her best since coming north, but you can’t really fault her performances before that.

Like Hart said, the mare has finished in the top four on 12 occasions, and never further back that seventh in 15 of his 16 starts with him.

“Admittedly, she’s the sort of horse that needs luck in the running. She definitely has the ability to win more races, but she has to be in the right place at the right time.

Lachie Hart, Nathan Rothwell, Highly Respected with well-wishers following race five at Redcliffe Paceway last Wednesday night (October 18). DAN COSTELLO PHOTO

“That’s exactly what Nathan (Rothwell) did on Wednesday. He drove her perfectly in the trail, from barrier seven. I liked the way she sprinted underneath the favourite when he asked her to go. I’m pleased I got her off Chris,” 24-year-old Hart said.

Chris is Chris Judd, a good friend of Hart’s and the mare’s former Spring Farm (NSW) trainer. When Hart took over the training duties from him on June 23 this year, Highly Respected had raced 72 times for eight wins and 12 placings.

She’s now won nine of her 88 starts and placed in 24 others for $64,718 in purses. Highly Respected recorded her best mile time of 1:56.7 when winning by 3.4 metres at Newcastle on February 27 this year. Her mile rate on Wednesday was 2:01.4 after pacing the 2,04- metre mobile in 2:01.4 with 32.1, 31, 29.3, and 29.5 sectionals.

Lachie Hart has been around horses for as long as he can remember.

“She’s the best of the four I’ve got in work, but probably not as good as Itsmegs, who won four races for me. In saying that they are two very different horses though. ‘Megs’ was a bit tougher and slightly better I think.

“She’s also a bit special because she provided me with my first training success,” Hart said.

That was on September 9 last year when the late Itsmegs, a Falcon Seelster mare, won in the hands of Peter McMullen at Albion Park.

Hart has trained eight more winners and 24 place-getters since then for $44,843 in purses. He’s now almost completed two seasons as a trainer with seven winners and six placings ($24,115) last year. His other winner in 2023 came via Torqueonetothree at Redcliffe Paceway on July 2 this year. Chloe Butler did the driving.

In fact, Hart’s grandfather, Ian Corazzol and his wife Sheryl, are renown for being quality standardbred breeders responsible for the ‘Torque’ harness name.

Woodhill horseman, Lachie Hart with his fiancé, Chloe Simpson.

“Pop (Ian) has bred some nice horses over the years, and more recently this year’s Group One Queensland Oaks winner, Torque Like Motion right back to (2012) Ladyship Mile winner, Torque In Motion. There’s been so many. My grandparents take their breeding seriously and I can see why they have done well,” Hart said.

“Justalittle Torque (15 wins, $146.894 & 1:51.6) was also pretty good too,” he added.

Hart actually works for his grandfather, Ian Corazzol, who owns ‘Pro Music Australia’ – a Carole Park-based importer and wholesaler business, specialising in the finest musical products, which supplies instruments to retail stores Australia-wide.

“I work in the warehouse Monday to Friday with my Uncle Brad (Corazzol), and he’s been really understanding, because he knows when I have to be at the races. He also realises I work my own small team at Mum and Dad’s property at Woodhill,” Hart said.

Mum and Dad and Ricky and Jodie Hart. Lachie is the oldest of four children (three boys). A previous story on Ricky Hart can be viewed at the bottom of this story.

“Mum and Dad have been my biggest supporters. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be doing what I am now without their influence and guidance. In fact, I’m very fortunate that I have harness racing blood on both sides of my family. I really had no option did I,” he joked.

He said his grandfather on his Dad’s side – Gerry, who was nicknamed ‘Snodger’, like Ricky, had horses all his life.

The horse that gave Lachie Hart his first training success – the 2014 Ultimate Falcon 15-win mare, Itsmegs. DAN COSTELLO PHOTO

“Pop and Dad used to go to all the Shows, and I remember Dad telling me ‘Pop’ trained the winner of the Nambour Cup three years in a row, and Dad drove them on each occasion. He’s still the only driver to win that Cup three years in a row (1985-87).”

Hart was born in Caboolture and educated at Morayfield State High School. It was while he was on “Schoolies” on the Gold Coast immediately after Year 12 that he got a phone call from then then Sydney trainer, Shane Sanderson.

“Shane knew I was looking for work and as soon I finished the best year of my life I went south and started working for him immediately. I did about two-an-d-a-half years with Shane and then when he was winding down a bit I went and worked for Tim Butt for about the same amount of time before he left for Victoria.

“I think came back to my parent’s place in March 2020 and got my licence in 2022. I never bothered with driving. I get a big kick out of training winners.

“I did have one education drive once and the horse galloped on me, and we were no show. I thought buggar this, I’ll leave it to the guns.”

Asked what his harness racing goal was.

“Like every trainer – to train a Group One winner!”

Hart also paid a tribute to his fiancé, Chloe Simpson.

Both Lachie Hart and Chloe Simpson work very hard to enjoy their downtime – if there is such a thing with horses.

“She’s like Mum, always there when I need her, especially when both of my jobs clash. I’m very grateful,” he said.

Hart’s training talents can be next seen at ‘The Triangle’ this afternoon (Sunday October 22) at 3.19pm when Chloe Butler will drive Typhoon Torque from gate four in race five.

A previous story on Hart’s father, Ricky, can be viewed here:

Photo Finish
The Lachie Hart trained and Nathan Rothwell driven Highly Respected (7) proves too good winning race five at Redcliffe Paceway last Wednesday night (October 18), by 1.2 metres.

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