Harrison's big week at the Mot, and now Addington
Riley Harrison waited years before her first drive at Motukarara on Easter Monday. She has to wait just days for her second. And that will be at Addington on Thursday.
Admitting to a few nerves before her race day debut Harrison steered the Grant McStay-trained On Report into third in the John Dunn/Tim Williams Junior Drivers Pace.
It was a fitting race to make her first race day appearance in because John and the rest of the Dunn family have had a huge influence on her since she decided to get into the sport.
"I wouldn't be doing this without their support," says Harrison.
At a time she was leaving high school it was suggested to her that racing could be option, and after doing some work experience elsewhere she heard about a job at the Dunn's Woodend stables.
"I was told it was a top stable and there were some other young people there and it could suit."
She applied, and has now been there for three years. She estimates she's had 30 or so drives at the trials leading into this week's debut.
And it was John Dunn who sorted out her first race day drive. On Report, a six year old gelding, had won two and been placed five times in his 26 previous starts.
"I didn't know anything about the horse or trainer," she says.
But a few race videos and a bit more research later she was in the sulky behind On Report. They made a flier from the stand to lead briefly before handing up to Dance Till Dawn. Harrison remained in the trail, then got the inside run and finished a game third, behind a late charging Lester and Eastwood Ideal, who looked the winner 50 metres out.
"I was nervous," says Harrison, "but it was really good. Firstly to get around safely and to get a placing with my first drive."
And her second drive will be at Addington on Thursday when she partners the Dunn-trained Always B Tyron in Race 3, the Woodlands Stud Supporting Our Future (Junior Drivers) Pace at 6.34pm.
The Always B Miki four-year-old mare has won one from four and faces a field that includes likely favourites Coachella, last start winner Theresa Love and Arden's Delight.