A Great Judge of Pace
Alan Woodworth was regarded as one of the all-time great judges of pace and the most skilful driver in Perth. He recorded 907 winners as a driver in a harness career spanning 4 decades.
Woodworth was born into a harness racing family. His father Stan Woodworth was a successful trainer, and in the late 1940s, Alan Woodworth made a name for himself as one of the youngest, lightest drivers. Driving Bintravis in 1949 he won the State’s premier race, the WA Pacing Cup. He was just 20 years old, and became the youngest driver to win that race, a record he held for 53 years.
The Woodworth family moved to New South Wales and it wasn’t until the 1951/52 season that Alan Woodworth moved back to Perth. He won his first Drivers’ Premiership in the 1954/55 season with 35 winners, finishing ahead of two strong rivals, Max Johnson and Fred Kersley. Woodworth won the Perth Drivers’ Premiership three times and while he was celebrated largely as a driver, he also trained 304 winners. However, he could only finish with a second placing to Phil Coulson in the Leading Trainers’ title in season 1964/65, with 16 winners.
Bin Oro was easily the best horse with whom Woodworth was associated. With Bin Oro he won a WA Christmas Handicap, WA State Sprint, August Cup, Birthday Cup, a consolation of the 1962 Perth Inter Dominion and was third to Lord Mina and Satanas in the 1965 WA Pacing Cup.
By the time he retired in 1985, Alan Woodworth had driven 558 winners in Perth, a total that was sufficient to have him in fourth place on the list of Perth’s alltime leading drivers.
Driver Before Cart Before Horse
In a memorable night at the old Wayville track in South Australia, Woodworth won an unusual distinction. He was dislodged from the cart when his horse fell and he slid along the muddy track, beating the horse across the line.