TRAINER Dennis Drier clinched the 2,000th winner of his career when the three-year-old gelding Hard Core passed the post first on debut in the first race at Greyville on Sunday.

By the end of the day, the Summerveld-based master trainer had more cause for celebration with a treble at the meeting putting an end to a relatively lean spell.

Two nights earlier, he had been crowned the KwaZulu-Natal Champion Trainer for the umpteenth time.

Drier started out as assistant trainer to his late-great uncle Syd Laird in the late 1960s and took out his own licence in August 1977.

He won the country’s biggest race, the Durban July, with Spanish Galliard in 1992 and at around the same time was training the good sprinter Polished Silver and the classy sprint-miler Spook And Diesel.

But Drier’s most successful time has come this decade, with 17 Grade 1 titles since 2010. He has won six of the last nine Gold Medallions.

Two great fillies in his care in recent years were sprinter Val De Ra, who won 11 out of 13, including three Grade 1 races, and Beach Beauty, a diminutive miler to middle distance champion who clocked up five Grade 1s.

Drier won his ninth Scottsville Grade 1 this decade and his 10th overall when Sommerlied won the SA Fillies Sprint in May and was later named KZN Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Female. – David Thiselton/Gold Circle

Photo: Dennis and Gill Drier (courtesy Backworth Stud).

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