This was a day for the fighting spirit of the old guard. Tom Hannah running his 200th Otley handicap and after months of injury problems, Phil’s welcome return to the handicap/racing scene. Success going to Phil with a 2 minute win ahead of Tom. With John and Carol in the first 6, these four have run a grand total of 600+ handicaps in 25+ years.
Here’s a bit of a stats. breakdown of the of Tom’s fantastic achievement. His first race was the Farnley Handicap in June 1992, where he was invited to run as an unattached runner from the Otley 10 and finishing second. So off to a good start and he’s averaged 8 races a year since. Tom has won 10 of the 200, been 2nd 18 times and passed the 100 mark at the end of 2003 and surprisingly has never won the Eric Smith Handicap Trophy.
Back to the present, finishing in 7th place, Laura Hind moved to the top of the handicap table with 37 pts, ahead of Billy 33 and Gary and Eriks on 32. In pretty much ideal conditions, Gary recorded the fastest time of the day approx. 30 seconds quicker than Tom Lynch.
Not long to wait for the 3rd race, on the 11th March, the undulating three lap route from the Wellington Inn at Darley.