Local Cup win a huge thrill

By Jonny Turner

Otematata owner-breeders Ian and Cheryl Munro enjoyed one of their biggest thrills in harness racing when Harrison produced a spectacular victory in the Kurow Cup at Oamaru yesterday.

The pacer made a meal of the feature event’s standing start but he quickly put that behind him with trainer-driver John Morrison taking the six-year-old to the lead within the first 800m.

From there, Harrison produced fast closing sectionals which didn’t give his rivals much hope of catching him as he went on to score a meaningful victory for the Munros.

The Munro family have enjoyed plenty of thrills in harness racing including the fantastic ride their outstanding pacer Rostreiver Hanover took them on in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

After Harrison’s win in their local cup, Ian Munro declared the victory the equal of any of those thrills.

“I have won the Messenger and some big races but honestly this has given me the biggest thrill that I have ever had,” Munro said.

“It was a real buzz.”

Based in Otematata, Ian Munro is a committee member and active member of the Kurow Harness Racing Club.

“This is our own club, so this is marvellous.”

Rostriever Hanover won 17 races including a Superstars Championship, Canterbury Classic and Invercargill Cup as well and his New Zealand Messenger Championship victory when trained by Patrick O’Reilly.

The Munro family’s association with John Morrison came when the reinsman drove some of their horses which were trained by O’Reilly.

John Morrison admitted his confidence levels were extremely low when Harrison ran out of his gear shortly after the start of the Kurow Cup.

Once the horse settled into a pace the reinsman had some quick decision making to do which he got 100% right.

“Once he put that bound in after the start I wasn’t sure if he was going to come back down but thankfully he did,” Morrison said

“From there I thought if I go back I would have to go around the lot of them at some stage so we went forward and it worked out really good.”

Morrison intends to take a patient approach with Harrison following his victory and plans to look at racing at Addington while spacing the horse’s races.

Yesterday’s Kurow Trotting Cup was taken out by Fighting Fire who showed a classy turn of foot to score.

The trotter was chasing the leader Jimmy Carter for much of the home straight but once driver John Dunn asked Fighting Fire to get serious he found another gear to complete an impressive victory.

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