Storm brings up century for Kerr
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
Rangiora trainer Mitchell Kerr has weathered the COVID-19 storm and has been able to bring up a momentous milestone on the other side.
The young horseman brought up his 100th training win at Addington on Friday night when the aptly named Storm ran away to a 2-1/4 length win over Majorca in her 1980m contest.
Kerr was delighted to reach the milestone, but said he was completely oblivious he was nearing the mark.
“It was really good, I didn’t know I was so close,” he said. “It’s a big thrill and I am just rapt to get there.”
Kerr was particularly pleased to get the win with Storm, a filly he believes has a bright future.
“I have got a lot of time for that filly,” he said. “She is a lovely horse and is a really good wee staying mare for the future.
“She has always shown us quite a bit of ability, so it was good to see her perform like that after a couple of workouts. She did it really nice.”
Kerr originally kicked-off his training career five years ago with his father Paul, for whom he remained in a training partnership for two seasons and recorded 24 victories.
With the support of a core group of owners he elected to head out on his own and has amassed an individual tally of 76 wins.
“I elected to make the shift and give it a crack,” he said. “I had a few owners around me and just steadily built things up. I have got a nice base out here at Rangiora Racecourse now and things are chipping away nicely.”
Kerr said there have been a few highlights in his training career to date, but one stands out above the rest.
“Getting the New Zealand record with The Dorchester down in Ashburton was great,” Kerr said. “That was an amazing performance that day and it gave me a big buzz.”
Despite a few setbacks this season, Kerr has recorded 23 wins to date, just two shy of last season’s tally.
“It’s a bit of a story of two halves this season,” he said. “We had a really good start to the season and everything was flying along. I gave a few of them a letup after Cup Week and the team I had here got really crook and the wheels fell off a wee bit.
“We got over that and then the coronavirus hit just when we were about to hit back with all those horses again.
“We had to go back to square one. It has been a bit of a niggly season, but also a good season at the same.
“The numbers are ticking along nicely, so hopefully we can bridge that gap and get past that 25 win tally this season and then hopefully next year we get a few more.”
Kerr is currently working a team of 20 and he said he is particularly looking forward to getting three-year-old gelding William Wallace and six-win gelding Matt Damon back to the races.
“I am really keen to get William Wallace back on track. He’s a lovely horse going forward,” Kerr said.
“I am also looking forward to getting Matt Damon back. He came a long way this season, he has won six races. He has now had that decent break and hopefully we can get him in a few of those bigger races leading up to Cup Week.”