Memorable wins for Jefferies and Northcott at Cambridge
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
A first and a 21st highlighted the ten race programme at Cambridge last night, with Sophie Jefferies and Michelle Northcott both producing milestone wins.
Northcott had a drama-filled win in the opening heat of the New Zealand amateur drivers' championship. Driving Whooshka she locked wheels with Hey Miki Denario as they approached the 800 metre mark.
For a tense few seconds it was touch and go for the favourite but Northcott, an accomplished jockey and driver, managed to negotiate her way out of trouble, then launched at the 600 before going on to win by one and a half lengths.
It was her 21st win overall as an amateur driver, her first coming in 2012.
"It's always exciting to win a race," she told Track Chat's Jo Stevens after her victory.
Now she's looking forward to Addington tonight for heat 2 when she'll drive early favourite Bondi Lustre at 5.54pm.
"Hopefully locking wheels doesn't happen again," she quipped.
The points table after Heat 1 is :
Michelle Northcott 7
Jo Buckland-Stevens 5
John Kriechbaumer 4
Frank Phelan 3
Cheree Wigg 2
Neil Munro 1
Colleen Negus 0
Barry White 0
Kevin McClintock 0
Warren Rich 0
While Northcott enjoyed her 21st win, Sophie Jefferies had her first success in the sulky when the Ross Paynter-trained You Little Beauty won the Dunstan Horsefeeds Mobile Pace. It was just her fifth race day drive.
In the trail early Jefferies peeled out on the home turn with You Little Beauty wearing down the pace-making Ohoka Achilles by half a length.
"I'm emotional, it's very special to do it for Ross too," Jefferies told Track Chat post race, "he taught me everything I know and to do it on home turf as well makes it ten times better. I'm still shaking."
Jefferies squeezed in her drives last night as part of a quick trip home to visit family. She and partner (and trainer ) Kyle Marshall relocated to Cranbourne in Victoria earlier this year.