Jacob Duggan makes winning debut

28 November 2021 | Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Duggan was destined to follow his strong family history in the racing game and in Hobart on Friday night, he jumped in the sulky for his first race drive aboard Wattabout Spangher, and the young driver got off to a dream start to his career by scoring at odds of $18.

From barrier two, Jacob settled the gelded son of Stonebridge Regal, who is prepared by his father Adrian, three back the marker pegs before peeling into the clear halfway down the home straight.

“We thought he could run a good race but we weren’t expecting to win,” said Jacob about the win.

“I thought I was in a bit of trouble earl, but down the back straight when Paul Hill’s horse was struggling a bit, I thought this will be alright, and the run eventually come,” explained the winning driver.

When asked about the feeling when realising he would win at his first race drive, Jacob replied with “It was unreal”.

Jacob was always destined to jump into the sulky, being a regular in Tasracing’s mini-trot program, and Friday’s meeting in Hobart was the first meeting he was eligible to drive at after only turning 16 on the Sunday prior.

For the past year, he has been developing his skills competing in the mandatory trials to gain his race day license, where Jacob said his uncle Ricky Duggan has been a great mentor.

Jacob’s father, Adrian has been a respected driver and dual code trainer, with Jacob inheriting the dual code path.

“I was always interested in harness early, but when dad started training some gallopers, and I became old enough to ride them, it became another thing I loved,” said Jacob.

Jacob left his school studies behind a couple of months ago to concentrate on a career in racing.

“I got an exemption to leave and go work for Siggy Carr (thoroughbred trainer) full time, and I help dad with his team where I can,” said Jacob.

Jacob didn’t rule out a future in the saddle if his weight allows but did admit being a trainer is a long term prospect.

The young reinsman is listed as the emergency for the states premier junior driver series, the 6ty Youngbloods Challenge, which will be held in Launceston and Hobart next weekend.


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