by Jonny Turner
It was hardly a nervous wait for Waikato reinsman Peter Ferguson when his 2000th driving win approached as Milliondollarmonkey coasted up the Oamaru straight to win on Saturday.
Ferguson had time to decide how to celebrate the milestone victory when the Regan Todd trained trotter went to the line untested to win race 6 by more than two lengths.
The reinsman eventually settled on a raise of his whip as he crossed to join just seven other drivers in the 2000-win club.
The victory came more than 34 years after Ferguson set on his journey to become one of New Zealand’s most winning reinsman.
The then junior driver drove Sobriety to victory to win a 3200m maiden event at a Te Awamutu Trotting Club meeting in 1986.
Ferguson wasted no time in establishing his career, he then cemented himself as a star of the future by winning the group 1 Television NZ Mile behind Cinimod Junior in 1987, while still a junior licence holder.
The reinsman then went on to win four consecutive national junior drivers’ premierships between the 1988 and 1991 seasons.
Ferguson solidified himself as a premier open reinsman and soon started collecting more premier trophies.
Of his 19 career group 1 wins, three came in the 1997 calendar year with star mare and Auckland Cup winner, Kate’s First.
Another Auckland Cup win came in 2006 with Mi Muchacho.
23 years after his first Ferguson would win yet another Auckland Cup, but not in the harness code.
After taking out his greyhound trainer’s licence and developing an excellent winning strike-rate, the reinsman prepared Silenci to win the Auckland Cup for greyhounds this year.
Gold Ace was another key contributor to Ferguson’s big race haul in the sulky.
The now-retired stallion won a treble of group 1 victories, including his win in the 2011 New Zealand Derby.
While maintaining his position as a top-class reinsman over three decades, Ferguson won the New Zealand Drivers’ Premiership in both 2003 and 2007.
Ferguson’s win last win in the championship saw him represent New Zealand in the World Drivers Championships in Norway.
Ferguson ventured south to Saturday’s Family Feud Drivers’ competition at Oamaru, where he competed alongside his son, Dylan.
The father and son finished second behind brothers Nathan and Matthew Williamson.