Looking Ford to getting back Trackside
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
West Melton trainer Ken Ford is excited about the return of harness racing this week, but it’s the return of the sport to his living room that he is looking forward to the most.
“It will be good to get back to the races, but what I have missed is sitting down and watching the races on TV. I love that,” Ford said.
“In my stage in life, I am finding that more exciting than actually going to the races.”
Ford said he wasn’t too affected by the COVID-19 enforced lockdown period as he was able to keep the majority of his team ticking over at his property.
“It was good as gold,” he said. “We have got our own track, so we just kept jogging a few.
We just brought them up quietly again.
“We don’t work many. We usually work 10 and dropped it back to six and we have got them ready to race now.”
Ford will have three stable representatives at Addington’s two meetings this week. Mordecai will kick off the stable’s season resumption in the Dunstan Remembering Lazarus Mobile Pace (1980m) on Thursday night.
“He’s just a battler. He is Kerryn’s (Tomlinson, junior driver), my granddaughter, horse. He is a lovely old horse to have about the place and we use him as a pacemaker.”
Ford has higher hopes on Friday when Justan’s Sister lines-up in the Dunstan Multi-Ultra Trot (2600m) and Zsa Zoe contests the Dunstan Feed Up handicap Trot (2600m).
“Justan’s Sister was going along really well before lockdown,” Ford said. “She was coming along nicely for that Met Multiplier. She was the biggest disappointment over the lockup because we have lost that now.
“She is going well. We gave her a good hit-out on Sunday at Kypros Kotzikas’ place. We took all the ones ready to race down there. She went really well.
“She should hold her head up and look alright. She won’t disgrace herself.” Zsa Zoe will have her first start since December and is another whose preparation was cut short as a result of COVID-19.
“She kicked out and hit a rail (in December) and she got a bit of swelling,” Ford said. “We got a little bit worried about that, so that’s why she had the break.
“She was coming along really nice and then the lockdown came.
“She went as good as any (on Sunday). I am really pleased with her. She has got Cracker Hill in that race so that’s going to be really tough. But she is going really well.”
Meanwhile, Ford has welcomed the return of Group One-winning trotter Marcoola to his barn.
“The last couple of weeks we have been putting him on the jogger and he looks a million dollars,” Ford said.
“But there is nothing for him, so we will bring him up nice and quietly and see how we go.”
A stud career beckons the seven-year-old entire, however, Ford said he and son Clint are having too much fun racing him.
“I have got people ringing me wanting to put mares to him,” Ford said. “He is a lovely horse and is so easy to do things with.
“I don’t want to be a stud farmer. I am absolutely loving going to the races and racing my horses, and he has given us some great thrills.
“He is looking the best he has ever looked and If he can win us another race I would be happy.”
Ford is also looking forward to the return of a couple of exciting rising three-year-olds.
“A two-year-old by Love You out of Amaretto Son’s full-sister, he is a really nice horse,” Ford said. “He makes me get out of bed in the morning.
“We would have raced him as a two-year-old but he was one that we dropped off because
of the lockdown.
“We have also got a two-year-old full-sister to Marcoola who we backed off when things closed down and we are about due to start with her again. She is a nice little horse.”