McNaught gets on the board
Southlander Kieran McNaught will not be quitting his day job despite driving his first winner at Wyndham on Sunday.
The junior driver snared his first success in the sulky when unleashing El Dinero for a sweeping finish to win.
It was no coincidence the victory came in trainer Ross Wilson’s colours.
The Gore horseman has made a habit of giving aspiring drivers opportunities and McNaught is the latest of them to make it to the winner’s circle because of him.
“It was a great thrill,” McNaught said.
“It feels like it has been a long time trying.”
“Ross is renown for being good to juniors and up and coming people, he always gives people a fair crack.”
“To do it for him was pretty cool, it was almost like repaying him for chucking me on some of his nice ones.”
Harness racing is not McNaught’s main profession.
The university graduate works as a resource management planner in Invercargill.
“Picking up two or three drives a weekend, I am happy with that, because it is not like it is my main income.
“Some of these other guys in stables, they have got be having full books, or near to, to make a bit of coin.”
McNaught said his employers, Bonisch Consultants, have been generous in allowing him to make time for harness racing around work.
His first victory came in his 54th drive and his second season as a junior driver.
“I have had to wait my turn a wee bit.”
“Hopefully we can keep ticking away and start looking for the next winner.”
McNaught’s first win will give him something to remember for a long time.
It is will be almost impossible for owners Ginger Woodhouse to Neil Edge to forget their victory with Superfast Pat in Sunday’s Gold Chip final.
The Lauren Pearson trained squaregaiter won the 2400m feature by an incredible thirty-and-a-half lengths for driver Brent Barclay.
After a good beginning, Barclay let the trotter stride along in front of the field.
In the middle stages he was 10 lengths in front of the second horse, Riteur, who was another 15 lengths in front of the main bunch.
Approaching the 400m, Riteur was fading and Superfast Pat was getting further in front of the rest of the field.
Superfast Pat would go on to win by more than 30 lengths, in what must rate as one of the most incredible races witnessed in Southland in recent seasons.