From premiership glory to chasing harness racing success for Rhys-Jones

David Rhys-Jones made his name on the footy field and the 1987 Norm Smith medallist is hoping to have similar success in his new-found passion for harness racing ownership.

Former Carlton star David Rhys-Jones
Former Carlton star David Rhys-Jones Picture: HRV

he 61-year-old owns a share of the Chris Svanosio-trained The Priestess, who finished sixth in the Haras Des Trotteurs Nutrien Equine Classic Final for three-year-old trotting fillies at Melton Entertainment Park on Saturday night.

The daughter of Father Patrick began the race galloping behind the mobile, but caught the field and ran home strongly to be beaten just over 20m.

"It's been a little bit frustrating with her at the moment, she has got a lot of ability," Rhys-Jones said. "We just need to get her to get off the gate properly.

"It's been a lot of fun. I have dragged in a couple of other mates in our little share, and we have been getting along and watching her gallop at the start and then bring it home pretty well.

"Hopefully we can get her to get off the mobile better and trot away, and hopefully she will win us some nice races."

Rhys-Jones had taken a keen interest in his squaregaiter's progress prior to making the move to the Svanosio stable.

"She was with Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, and it was good to see all the facilities," he said. "It's been a good introduction with it all. It's all about dipping our toes in the water (and) having a bit of fun with a few mates more than anything."

The 1987 premiership winner played 182 games for South Melbourne/Sydney and Carlton, and has always had a love for the trots.

"I remember going to the Showgrounds with my old man, going back many years ago," he said. "I have always enjoyed racing, whether it be the gallops or harness racing.

"I have always had a bit of interest and I enjoy it."