Emotional victory for Rising Star

3 May 2019



THERE were a few tears of joy shed on both ends of the telephone when 20-year-old Madi Young landed her first Menangle winner last weekend.

Now the much-improved young driver is ready to continue a recent rich vein of form when she partners Lettucefirestar for stepfather Greg Coney at Newcastle tonight.

Young was quick to accept a phone call from Tamworth-based Coney back in the stables after scoring an exciting win with the Brent Lilley-trained Islandspecialmajor at Menangle on Saturday night.

It was an emotional moment and Young admitted that she started to cry when Coney rang to congratulate her on that historic first Menangle win.

Coney knew it had been a personal goal for Young right back to when she was a 16-year-old at Nowra driving mini trotters.

“I reckon she’s always driven well but I guess it’s an experience thing,” said Coney.

“She doesn’t get too many chances down there – and that’s disappointing – it’s pretty hard for the young ones.

“Even today she had to work at Menangle but couldn’t get away early enough to drive for me. She had to fly up from Sydney and its cost her money to do that.”

“But I was so excited for her the other night, I know what it was like when I got my first Harold Park winner all those years ago – and that’s what it’s all about.”

While 20-year-old Madi is working for Shane and Lauren Tritton in Sydney, her elder sister Georgia is back chasing her license again and has been helping out Coney at Tamworth.

Madi will drive Lettucefirestar and Coney says they have been more than happy with the horse since buying him from Brad Hewitt.

“Lettucefirestar has been going along nicely and hasn’t had a lot of luck lately.”

The consistent gelding finished third at Menangle on April 13 and if he runs up to that form must be the horse to beat at Newcastle tonight.

It should also be a big night for the Craig Cross stable, which will have three favourites on the nine-race program.

Ace reinsman Luke McCarthy will partner the first two, Island Banner ($2.75) in Race 3 and Cullenburn ($1.40) in Race 4.

Cross has also booked up and coming young reinsman Brad Elder to handle his other favoured runner, Bright Energy ($1.45) who will have to overcome an awkward draw if he is to succeed in Race 8.






Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by a Board of Directors and is independent of Government.




(02) 9722 6600 •  arando@hrnsw.com.au •  @Amanda_Rando