Great chance for Kerryn Tomlinson

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Amaretto Sun gave one Tomlinson sister a career highlight and he could well do the same for another at Geraldine on Saturday.

Kerryn Tomlinson is still searching for her first winner but she gets a royal opportunity at Orari when she partners with her granddad, Ken Ford’s, horse.

Last year’s Dominion winner has not paid a dividend since that memorable success for ‘big sister’ Sheree, but the signs have been more encouraging just lately.

The Sundon gelding looked something like his best when fifth at Kaikoura and while down the track both days at the Cup meeting, he had no luck at all.

Amaretto Sun drew 15 in the Free For All and ran home nicely from ‘four pegs’ to finish about three lengths behind Speeding Spur, while in the Dominion he made a meal of the start and was back last until starting the last 800m.

Sheree Tomlinson attempted to track Marcoola and Le Lievre’s Gift into the race down the back but they were pushed four-wide when they were all flat to the boards and they wound up being seven-wide on the home turn.

Amaretto Sun is back by himself on 30m for the feature trot at Orari, although it is race which looks a battle between him and the other handicapped runners in Belles Son and Missandei on 10m.

Noted grass track performer We’ll Meet Again looks the best of the front markers with McLovin seemingly out of form.

“He has been missing away a bit this season but we’ve been very happy with the way he has been getting home,” said Kerryn.

“Hopefully the fact he’s back there all by himself means I can get him away better.”

Kerryn has only driven Amaretto Sun in trials before and gets her opportunity on race day due to Sheree and mother Amanda being in Queensland for the Australasian Young Drivers Championship.

That couldn’t have begun any better for Sheree with wins in the opening two races with One Off and Goalkicker and a second in the fourth heat giving her 49 points and a 16-point lead over fellow Kiwi Alicia Harrison, who won the third heat.

Father Mark Tomlinson, a truck driver for Daily Freight, and Ken Ford’s wife Diane are also in Queensland cheering Sheree on in her quest for the Championship.

Sheree also sits equal top on the junior drivers table in New Zealand with 14 wins, alongside John Morrison.

Kerryn has had 36 drives in her first season as a junior and has had a frustrating run since almost winning a race with Queen Of Glory at Addington back in August.

“I wasn’t getting many decent drives there for a while and when I did, we didn’t get any luck, but I’ve been getting some better drives just lately.”

One of those better drives has been Tall Poppy and she will be a chance again in the last event at Geraldine.

Tomlinson was third at Kaikoura with the Steve Dolan-trained mare and then they were held up when sixth at Ashburton last week.

“We got a dreadful run from the second line in a mile there where they walked the first half and sprinted the last quarter.

“She’s drawn wide at Orari which will make things difficult but it looks like it might be wet down there so who knows what might happen.”

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