Ellie Barron gets on the board


Less than a month since her first race-day drive and at just her sixth attempt, 22-year old Ellie Barron experienced that never-to-be-repeated first win when Somejoy triumphed in the mobile mile for fillies and mares at Wyndham this afternoon (Sunday).

From top-shelf racing stock, Ellie is the daughter of Clark and Jackie and grand-daughter of former prominent stud-master Owen Crooks and successful trainer and driver Ron Barron.

Clark, a member of the 1000 wins club as a driver, is also the mare's trainer.

Somejoy drew the outside of the second line and Ellie said she was more nervous about the draw than the drive.

“My instructions were I wasn't allowed to go back, to give her a wee breather and bring her back in one piece,” she said.

After being left three-wide mostly, Somejoy attacked across the top and led turning in.

“About the top of the straight I thought I was home but then heard them coming, I just screamed at her and she tried.”

Somejoy had lasted by a neck, cut out the trip in a highly respectable 1:55.6, and the nervous wait was over. The mare goes to Addington next and will have a change of driver.

“Before deciding to race today, Dad worked out that she could win and still be eligible for the South Of Waitaki race. Blair Orange will drive, but I will go up and monitor her.”

All of which will add to the already busy schedule of Ellie who studied physiotherapy at Otago University for four years and graduated at the end of last year.

“I work every morning at the stables and then part time, 20 hours a week, at Spots Med in Invercargill.”

Ellie's equine involvement began in the Makarewa Pony Club when she was seven and included being part of a team that won the South Island Club's show jumping championship.”

“I was scared of racehorses but I don't know why,” she recalled.

Driving at workouts since the 2015-16 season, Ellie had her first trials drive at the Balfour equalisator meeting in December 2016 and tasted success.

“Somejoy was my first trials winner and now my first race winner. I've also driven her in three workouts this season and won them all.”

Earlier in the day, Ellie had run fourth on the trotter Mass Invasion – owned by her grandfather Owen Crooks – to add to the previous start fourth, and second the start before that, on the same horse.

Somejoy is raced by the Miracle Lodge Syndicate which consists of Clark Barron and Eric Parr.

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