Harrison seeking back to back championships
By Jonny Turner
Alicia Harrison only has to follow in the footsteps of the country’s greatest ever driver to win this weekend’s New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship.
The Morrinsville reinswoman will start work on winning back-to-back titles when she competes in its first two heats at Addington on Friday night.
It’s a feat that each of the championship winners, who are effectively a who’s who of the national driving ranks, have not been able to achieve since 1982.
Then, Tony Herlihy dead heated with Jim Curtin to win his second New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship in a row.
Harrison said she will take a light hearted approach to her task of following in the footsteps of New Zealand’s greatest ever reinsman.
And that her main focus will be on giving each of the four series heats her best.
“I’m feeling the pressure then, if the last one was Tony,” she quipped.
“I will just do my best and see how I go.”
Harrison was the star of last year’s championship, producing two wins and a placing from her four drives.
The thought of doing it all again has her buzzing.
“I am really excited, it was a great trip last year.”
“There is a great bunch of kids again this year, so hopefully it will be a great trip.”
Few of the drivers competing in the competition would have dreamed of starting their quest for glory behind a rating 40 totter, who is about to turn 12-yrs-old.
However Anothersuperstar looks a better chance than that may suggest.
“Her form lately has been pretty good,” Harrison said.
“She has been in such good form because she has got such good stand start manners.”
“Hopefully we will be able to get a good trip, she looks like a pretty honest trotter.”
Anothersuperstar will start from barrier 8 behind the mobile in Friday night’s first heat, which negates her excellent standing start manners.
The Ricky Allen trained squaregaiter takes on an even line up of trotters.
Skyline and Craig Smith, Bright Glow and Mark Hurrell and Diana Harbour and Dylan Ferguson look to be the biggest threats to Harrison and Anothersuperstar.
Harrison will drive consistent pacer Cheezel in heat two of the series.
The Brian Fahey trained 4yr-old looks well placed in the race as one of its highest rated runners.
“She is one of the highest rated horses in it, hopefully she can get a nice trip in to it from the draw and I think she should be a really nice chance.”
Kimberly Butt looks well placed to take maxiumum points in heat two with Friend.
Hot Starff for Benjamin Butcher, Leading The Way for Luke Whittaker and Smoke N Reactor for John Morrison also look strong chances.
Harrison looks to have drawn two handy chances on the second day of the competition at Rangiora on Sunday.
She will drive Caesar's Quest in heat 3 and Pine Cone in the final heat of the championship.