First win for Newman

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The three-hour drive home from Waimate to Cust probably only felt like three minutes for 19-year-old Korbyn Newman on Sunday afternoon.

Because the North Canterbury junior driver recorded his first career win in the sulky at the annual Waimate meeting, driving Markham Eyre for trainer Mike Brown.

He’d been knocking on the door of that maiden driving win, with 11 placings from his first 40 drives, but hadn’t quite been able to get over the line.

“All I needed was the right run and thankfully it came today,” he said post-race.

“I was getting a bit annoyed with it, to be honest, but I knew I would get there eventually.

“Everyone has been really supportive and kept saying to me that it could come soon enough.”

It’s that friendly industry spirit that has been part of why Newman fell in love with the game after initially using it as an excuse to bunk school.

“Dad trained about 15 starters back in the 1980s but I never had any involvement in the game growing up.

“I got in to it through work experience with school.

“In fact, I just did it initially to get a day off school; I didn’t think I’d actually like it.

“But I got hooked.”

That first day of experience was with North Canterbury trainer Benny Hill, who now acts as Newman’s full-time boss.

“I ended up doing more work experience with Benny for about three-quarters of a year but when I left school, he didn’t have enough horses in work to give me a job.

“So, I went and worked with Paul and Graham Court, and Simon McMullan, before eventually coming back to Benny’s when he could take me on.

“The Courts were great to me, and really helped me find my feet in the game.

“And Benny is a really good boss; he has given me plenty of driving opportunities. I couldn’t ask for more, really.”

Markham Eyre, by Sportswriter and named after harness scribe Matt Markham, has shown rapid improvement in recent grass track racing, and looks progressive.

“He’s a nice three-year-old, to be fair and has got a bit of a future, I think.

“He’s still a bit immature and will be even better next time in.

“I’m grateful to Mike Brown for giving me a chance; he’s one of a number of trainers who have realised that we all have to start somewhere and have taken a chance.

“I just hope they keep supporting me and I can repay that faith.”

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