Franklin claims Hoot Gibson Memorial

CORALIE Gibson was proud to hand over the first Hoot Gibson Memorial trophy to friend Joanne Franklin, after her trotter Royal Dream took out the inaugural running at Stawell's Laidlaw Park.

Royal Dream wins the inaugural Hoot Gibson Memorial.

Royal Dream wins the inaugural Hoot Gibson Memorial.

Peter 'Hoot' Gibson, a Stawell harness racing enthusiast, sadly passed away a year ago, leaving a massive hole in the Stawell harness racing community.

Hoot had a great love for the sport as well as producing success as a trainer and a driver.

The race in honour of Hoot was for three year old trotters and was run in great spirits.

Joanne Franklin was the trainer to take home the trophy with her youngster Royal Dream winning at just his second start.

With Matt Craven in the driver's seat, the lightly raced youngster took the early lead, but handed up to take a sit, where he looked more comfortable.

"He travelled well once he settled in," Craven said.

"It was really good, he was nice and relaxed."

Both Craven and Royal Dream took advantage of the sprint lane to claim victory.

"The sprint lane opened up and he flattened out really well," Craven said.

"It was a nice little win for this horse."

The race was run in front of Hoot Gibson's family, who had great pleasure in handing the trophy to their friend Joanne Franklin.

Royal Dream's trainer and driver were confident but punters suggested otherwise with starting odds of $46.


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