Harrison seeking first training win

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Alicia Harrison has 63 wins to her name as a driver but on Thursday at Cambridge Raceway she is hoping to notch her first victory as a trainer when Shirley Bassey contests the O’Connor Warren Mobile Pace (2200m).

The three-year-old filly has already had three starts and Harrison has been pleased with her progress with each run.

“In her first race (finished fourth) they went 2:42 (over 2200m) and she probably wasn’t quite fit enough for that. She hung in there really well and tried really hard, so I was really happy with that,” Harrison said.

“The next start (eighth) I thought she was going to go pretty close, she copped a bit of interference and kept running on, then another little skirmish happened and when I checked her around it she had a little gallop, so that was a little bit disappointing but not really her fault.

“And last start I was rapt with her, she ran on really strong (for fourth).”

Shirley Bassey has drawn the ace marble for Thursday’s contest and Harrison is confident of finding a good position from there.

“She has got a wee bit of gate speed so it is always good to get a handy draw,” she said.

“She should be able to use it to at least trail, if not lead-up. Hopefully that works in our favour.”

The Cambridge horsewoman originally purchased the daughter of Bettor’s Delight out of Woodlands Stud’s 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft at Karaka for $16,000 and she said there have been testing times getting her pride and joy to the track.

“She has been a bit of a test in patience,” Harrison said. “She didn’t really want to gait up at first, but I think that is a pretty common Bettor’s Delight thing, and I had pretty much zero experience breaking a pacer in, I had only previously broken-in Grandad’s trotters.

“She was so lazy, she would have been happy to stand still all day. Since then she has managed to kick a fence every time she has been ready to go, or do something silly where I have had to turn her out for three or four months through playing in the paddock.

“It is great that she has finally got to the races.”

While hoping for a bold showing from her filly on Thursday, Harrison is looking forward to a handful of other drives on Thursday where she has highlighted Bad Medicine in the Betavet Prepare Mobile Pace (2200m) as one of her better chances.

“Bad Medicine is going great,” she said. “He has had six starts now and has only been out of the money once.

“It is a tricky draw (10) for him following the horse (Bugalugs) he is following out, but if he gets the right trip into the race he will be a good top-three chance.

“He is a nice horse who seems to be improving with every run.”

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