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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 driver eventually settled on a raise of his whip as he crossed to join just seven other New Zealanders on the 2000-win club.
The victory came more than 34 years after Ferguson set out on his journey to become one of New Zealand’s most successful reinsman.
The then junior driver drove Sobriety to win a 3200m maiden at a Te Awamutu Trotting Club meeting in 1986.
Ferguson wasted no time in establishing his career as 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 from 1988 to 1991 seasons.
Ferguson solidified himself as a premier open pilot and soon started collecting more premier trophies.
Of his 19 career group 1 wins, three came in 1997 behind star mare and Auckland Cup winner, Kate’s First.
Another Auckland Cup win came in 2006 with Mi Muchacho.
Ferguson would win yet another Auckland Cup 23 years after his first, but not in the harness code.
After taking out his greyhound trainer’s licence, 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, includ the 2011 New Zealand Derby.
Ferguson won the New Zealand Drivers’ Premiership in 2003 and 2007.
Ferguson’s most recent win in the championship resulted in him representing 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 son Dylan.
The father and son finished second behind brothers Nathan and Matthew Williamson.