Barron not giving away driving just yet

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Clark Barron's number of drives in a season dropped to double figures for the first time ever last term and his tally of New Zealand driving wins increased by only one, to 1037, but the Rakauhauka reinsman is not ready to give it away altogether just yet.

The sudden decrease was the result of Barron's desire to concentrate more on his training and of his 18 wins, Somejoy at Ascot Park in January was the only one he drove himself.

Blair Orange contributed 13, Barron's daughter Ellie three, and Jim Curtin one.

“I'd thought about not renewing my licence but decided it would be silly when Blair or Ellie had other drives not to be able to step up.” he said,

“Ellie's finished her physio work and is full time here now, she's keen enough to drive more and as long as she keeps performing she should get them.

“She's had an extra good year; she only started driving in October and has had eight wins.”

Barron said the performances of Somejoy, including her being Ellie's first winning drive, were at the top of his season's highlights.

“Somejoy goes to Art Major this spring, her half-brother by Mach Three will go to the sales and Miracle Lodge will have three in,” said Barron, referring to the breeding operation he runs in partnership with Eric Parr of Ashburton.

On the training front, Black Ops provided Barron with his final win of the season at Ascot Park in May.

He pointed out he usually closes up shop at the end of the Southland season and hasn't raced at Forbury Park during the winter for quite a while.

However, he has had a winter team in work since May 1 and, while enjoying a brief break away in Sydney recently with wife Jackie, Ellie and Woodlands pensioner and retired horse float operator Art Bloxham continued to work a team of 16.

“Black Ops is the only race-winner amongst them.

“Raksbet is the only other winner to come back, that will be in August.

“A lot of my better horses have been sold. Some Excusesomewhere went to Mark Jones, either for Menangle or sale. He tried him on the beach, came solid so he's been sold too.”

With many of his line-up yet to trial, Barron said it is too soon to label any as exciting prospects but of those that have raced, he expects the place-getters Me And My Excuses, Thisexcusebetterbeit, and Queen Of The Nite to step up quickly.

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