"Fergie" in the House at Manawatu
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Peter Ferguson is in an unusual position at Manawatu this week.
He regularly drives for Michael House but usually as part of a powerful line-up that features House's two go-tos in Blair Orange and Sarah O'Reilly.
But today, and then again on Friday, they won't be there. So Ferguson finds himself driving eight House runners on the nine-race programme.
"He's tried the rest and now he's come to the best," quips Ferguson.
"I figured Blair wouldn't be going because there's a premier meeting at Addington on Friday."
The in-form Ferguson has driven six winners for the Red Army this year, and 18 overall, putting him fifth in the premiership behind Orange (48), John Dunn (33), O'Reilly (28), and Matthew Williamson (22).
"Just recently I'm driving a bit for RJ and Jenna (Dunn) and Michael House and they are the top two trainers in the country so you can't go wrong there."
Of his drives tonight - "it's good to be busy" - Ferguson singled out last start winner Doctor Tim in the very last of the night, Race 9, the Be Here - Festival Night 31st March Mobile Pace (7.36pm).
"He raced in all the top races up here (Cambridge) and then dropped down in the previous Manawatu meeting with Sarah straight away and it was a penalty free win so he stays in the same grade so he's probably my best drive of the night."
But his chances don't end there so how does he rate his other seven drives?
Race 1 : Break Free - "Break Free has been a bit naughty in the last couple for Wilson (House) and I've got on good with him in the past and he's finally at a handicap where I thought he was a chance .. but every horse in that race in a chance."
Race 2 : Love Is Everywhere - "Been racing well off the front and now she's at 30 (metres) but it's probably still in the right race."
Race 3 : The Maestro - "Don't know much about him"
Race 5 : Franco Hoffman - "He started off his campaign up here ok but he's been a little ho-hum and he can be tricky at the start - but if he got an economical trip you'd suggest he'd be a chance."
Race 6 : Raging On - "Won an amateur race at Cambridge with a soft trip. Once again we will be looking for that in that grade."
Race 7 : Full Of Desire - "Goes good, draw is against it but has a good turn of foot if I got a good run."
Race 8 : Juliette Shard - "She has struggled in that next grade up and would need a few favours."