Ferguson's birthday milestone - "it was pretty cool"

By Jonny Turner

Craig Ferguson put the icing on top of his birthday cake, as well as a stellar season so far, when driving a treble on his 30th birthday over the weekend.

Wins with Mucho Fuerte, Mr Cash Man and Tennessee Honey at Ascot Park gave the Wyndham trainer-driver plenty to celebrate as he hit a milestone birthday on Saturday.

“It was pretty cool how things worked out,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson arguably produced his best work in the sulky in his own colours, when getting Tennessee Honey out of barrier 1 on the second row and into the lead soon after the start.

The victory continued the outstanding form Ferguson has produced as both as a trainer and driver this season.

The Wyndham horseman is leading both Southland’s trainer and driver premierships as the half way point of the 2023 harness racing year approaches.

Ferguson credits his excellent success to patience and planning.

“We have been lucky enough to have a few nice horses and we are able to wait and place them in the right races.”

Stable big guns Da Vinci, Cormac Leo and Wag Star are all in the paddock ahead of what is set to be a busy spring.

But with Smokin Bandar, Street Art and Snow Robyn all back in work, the Ferguson barn still has plenty of fire power in its ranks.

Ferguson admitted he wasn’t sure how he Tennessee Honey’s race would eventuate last weekend, but when he was able to get off the markers he seized the opportunity.

“I wasn’t sure how things were going to pan out there, but I got lucky and was able to get off pretty quick and it worked out really good.”

Ferguson produced another gem of a drive to score with the Nathan Williamson trained Mr Cash Man.

The pair served it up to favourites Rakadan and Peter Hunter at the bell, before outstaying their rivals.

“He felt really sharp in the warm-up and Nathan was pretty confident with him.”

“They were just going a bit slow, I thought if Pete’s horse got his own way in front he would be too hard to catch.”

“I took a bit of risk but it worked out and the horse went great.”

Ferguson started his winning treble when combining with the Richard Austin trained Mucho Fuerte in race 1.

The mare led from barrier 1 and it was her time to shine, albeit in wet conditions at Ascot Park.

“It was great to get a win for Richie and his wife, they are great people.”

“Richie had done all of the work for me really, getting her ready for that race.”

Ferguson’s treble took him to 24 driving wins for the year, while he sits on 13 training wins in 2023.

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