Tomlinson keen to drive Cracker Hill
By Jonny Turner
Junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson’s move to Oamaru has provided her with a highlight just weeks after her shift from Canterbury.
Tomlinson will drive star 3yr-old trotter Cracker Hill when he has his second start for the season for her employer, Brad Williamson, at Winton on Saturday.
Cracker Hill impressed when setting a track record for 3yr-old trotting colts and geldings in his first start of the season at Winton last weekend.
The trotter has progressed well following that win and Tomlinson cannot wait to get in the sulky.
"I am very excited to drive him; it is a very good opportunity," Tomlinson said.
Cracker Hill is not the first group 1-quality trotter Tomlinson has driven.
She got to steer former Dominion winner Amaretto Sun, trained by her grandfather, Ken Ford.
"I was lucky enough to drive Amaretto Sun after he had already won a group 1 in the bog at Geraldine in my first season of driving," Tomlinson said.
"Cracker Hill is a really nice horse that will probably end up in the open class too."
Tomlinson has 13 wins to her name and headed to Oamaru in the hope of furthering her career.
"I worked for Brad Mowbray and Steve Dolan in Canterbury and I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot.
"When Brad [Williamson] offered me a job I thought there could be good opportunities and I could learn a lot from the Williamsons with their trotting knowledge."
"I am hoping to get established as a junior driver people can use in Otago and Southland — I am looking to pick up as many drives as I can."
Cracker Hill is clearly the horse to beat when starting from a 30m handicap in race 9 following his impressive first up win at Winton last weekend.
"He has come through that run pretty well and Brad is really happy with him," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson drives Humble Ladd for trainer Phil Williamson in race 4 on Saturday.
The trotter steps up in class after scoring at Forbury Park to clash with the exciting Chinese Whisper.
Trainer-driver Nathan Williamson has given Chinese Whisper five trials and workouts before his return after the horse thrived during an extended winter spell.
Williamson said the trotter was likely to be driven to suit his high speed as he built back to peak fitness.
"The manners are not foolproof yet, but he has got a lot of speed.
"I think his best asset is his speed and if he can be driven for that, that is what will suit him best."
Williamson also starts Franco Santino in the Wairio Cup.
The 5yr-old clashes with the strong team trainer Alister Black has in the 2400m feature.
Black will start leading contenders Vintage Cheddar, Lawrence and Kilowatt Kid.
Vintage Cheddar will start for the first time since being handed a very tough run when forced to race wide throughout behind Turn It Up at last season’s Harness Jewels.
The 5yr-old, who has had two workouts at Central Southland Raceway, was not pushed when running fourth to Paddyproudfoot in his first outing and then beat a moderate line-up in his next workout.
Lawrence and Kilowatt Kid both bring winning form and the benefit of recent racing to Saturday’s handicap event.
Both pacers have produced wins at Ascot Park after filling the trifecta behind Spirit Of St Louis in last month’s South Of The Waitaki event on Show Day at Addington.