Rebecca Heads to Ashburton full of hope

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Rebecca Heads has a goal of winning her first race as a trainer by the season’s end and she just may achieve that at Ashburton on Sunday.

The young horsewoman will line-up Jay Bee And Lou in the TF Pearson Memorial Trot (2400m) where he will have the services of driver Ricky May.

The Majestic son gelding was fractious away last start at Ashburton before recovering well and running home to finish third.

Heads has her fingers-crossed that the five-year-old brings his manners on Sunday, and if he does, she believes he is a strong chance.

“I can’t fault him from his last race,” Heads said. “He had a wee freshen-up and he seems to be back where he was.

“Hopefully his manners are a bit better on Sunday. I just want him to do everything right and hopefully he can run in the money again.”

While a junior driver herself, Heads has elected to stick with seasoned reinsman Ricky May.

“They seem to get on quite well, so there is no sense changing it up,” she said.

Heads is in her second season of training and she is enjoying working her small team alongside her employer Brent White’s at Ashburton Raceway.

“I really enjoy it, it’s good doing a few of my own,” she said. “Brent has been pretty good to me because I have the horse at the stables, so I work him in with his ones, I am pretty lucky.”

There will be bragging rights on the line at the Ashburton stable on Sunday, with White lining up race favourite Majestic Upstart ($4.60), with Jay Bee And Lou on the fourth line of betting at $6.

Hailing from Southland, Heads has a solid grounding in harness racing, having helped out her father Billy Heads since she was a child, as well as Tony Stratford when she was at high school.

“I helped out in the stables at Dad’s when I was a kid and it all grew from there,” she said.

“I went through the Kidz Kartz system and when I was at school I was more interested in eating my lunch. I was helping Tony Stratford in the mornings before school and after school I was jogging up a couple for Dad.”

While in the twilight of her schooling, Heads elected to take up a job opportunity in Australia with James Rattray in order to broaden her racing knowledge.

“I got offered a job in Australia when I was 17, so I was at school one day and off to school the next,” she said.

“I was a bit home sick and came home and went to the beach at Waikouaiti and worked for Amber Hoffman for a bit and then I moved to Canterbury.”

A win on Friday would be a great tonic for the Heads family and she is hoping she can get a winning result for her parents.

“Mum bred the horse (and owns him), so I am lucky that I have got to train him,” Heads said.

“Mum and Dad have both put a lot into the industry, so it has been good to be the next generation and doing things right.”


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