Tomlinson to drive returning Marcoola

By Jonny Turner

 Marcoola will take his first race day step towards defending his title Dominion title with a new face in the sulky behind him.

Leading junior driver Sheree Tomlinson will steer the 7yr-old in the Canterbury Park Trotting Cup at Addington on Friday night.

Marcoola’s part-owner and regular driver, Clint Ford, has stepped aside to give his niece the opportunity to drive the trotter, this week.

What happens in future races leading up to the Dominion has not been decided and it could hinge on the form of the horse’s stablemate and fellow Dominion winner, Amaretto Sun.

“Nothing is set in stone at the moment,” Tomlinson said.

“Amaretto Sun is not racing this week, so, we will just have to see how Friday night pans out and see what Clint’s plans are and go from there.”

Marcoola has made two public appearances ahead of his resumption.

The Ken Ford trained trotter won a sedate workout at Ashburton, before returning to the same track, last week, to run second behind race rival, Didjabringthebeers, in a faster trial. 

Both efforts have pleased the Ford camp.

“Clint’s been happy enough with both of the workouts and trials,” Tomlinson said. 

“They really run that last half quick at Ashburton, last week, and he did throw a shoe halfway up the straight.”

“Its different on race day, fitness wise, but he looks good and he’s feeling well, too.”

Marcoola faces a tough test, returning against race hardened trotting stars Oscar Bonavena and Sundees Sun.

Tomlinson is hopeful her charge can go a good race, despite giving away that fitness edge.

“It is a very nice field and there are some horses in there that have had a few races under their belt.”

“He is quite a naturally fit horse and he has gone quite a few good races fresh.”

“On his A-game he can go a very nice race.”

Trotting fans get the clash they have been waiting for when Oscar Bonvena and Sundees Son go head to head for the first time in Friday night’s feature.

Oscar Bonvena must step from his barrier 1 draw to take down his main rival.

That would usually be a tricky task for a horse that has bounded away from his past two standing starts.

But, because there are just two horses on the front line, the rising star should not have few excuses for making mistakes.

And his driver Mark Purdon is confident he can step away cleanly.

“He is a lot more mature this time around and I would be surprised if he botched it.”

“He has probably bounded away in both starts, but he has caught the trot very quickly.”

Sundees Sun, who has been brilliant in his two starts for the season, has a standing start challenge of his own in Friday night’s race.

The Robert Dunn trained trotter will start away from the unruly for the first time of his career in the event.

Sundees Son and Marcoola will both give Oscar Bonavena a head start from the 20m mark. 

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