Tomlinson out to defend title

By Jonny Turner

There will be no flying under the radar for Kerryn Tomlinson when she starts work on defending her McMillan Equine Feeds New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship title at Addington on Thursday night.

The Otago-based reinswoman will be out to establish an early lead in the series she won last year after being the rank outsider of the field.

Bookmakers sent Tomlinson out at a massive $101 price to win last year’s championship before she defied those odds and rewarded her loyal backers when clinching victory in the last three heats on the final day of the two-day series.

The South Island team member can’t wait for the chance to defend her title, as well as enjoy the social side of the championship.

“I am really looking forward to it, when I have been up north lately with Maudarchy I have been talking to a few of the drivers about it.”

“They are all a great bunch of drivers and it should be a lot of fun.”

“We are going to Hanmer on Friday to go bungee jumping, so that should be pretty interesting.”

Tomlinson drives Lincoln Skipper in heat one and Skidaddle in heat two on day one of the series at Addington on Thursday.

“I am pretty happy with the drives I have on Thursday night, I think they should both be pretty good chances.”

“The fields for Sunday look pretty good, hopefully I can draw some nice horses on the second day, too.”

Lincoln Skipper will have his first start for trainer Stephen McNally in race 2 on Thursday.

The five-year-old comes into his 1980m on the back of a sound fourth at Timaru last month.

“He should be a pretty good chance because Stephen’s horses usually go really well,” Tomlinson said.

“It is a bit of an unknown because he hasn’t trialled since going there, but hopefully the horse is enjoying the change of scenery.”

“He has got the sliding blinds on so that should help him too.”

“Hopefully he should be a pretty good eachway chance.”

Tomlinson could play a key role in the North Island team scoring points in heat one.

She has been involved with the training of Shards Fury (Zev Meredith) and Rin Tin Tin (Alicia Harrison) with her employer Brad Williamson, this week.

“Rin Tin Tin has probably been working better than Shards Fury, but he was unlucky at Forbury and he is not the worst chance.”

Tomlinson combines with Skidaddle, the lone 10m backmarker in race 4 on Thursday night.

The reinswoman also rates the Craig Smith trained five-year-old a solid eachway chance.

“Even off 10m, I would think she would be a pretty good chance.”

“Her win last start was really good, she did a bit of work.”

“There are a couple of nice ones off the front line but if she can get away fast enough she should be a right there.”

Drivers competing in the New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship include:

North Island Team
Luke Whittaker (Captain)
Alicia Harrison
Andrew Drake
Zev Meredith
Nathan Delany
Kaleb Bublitz

South Island Team
John Morrison (Captain)
Sheree Tomlinson
Sarah O’Reilly
Ben Hope
Mark Hurrell
Kerryn Tomlinson

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